Strategic Steps in Railways: In the last 15 years, huge projects have been implemented in the railways with the changing state policy. Liberalization of the railways is also of strategic importance for Turkey and the 2023 2035 objectives; competition will provide further development of railways.
The entrance of railway transportation, which started in England in 1825 for the first time in the world and spread throughout Europe in 25 years, to the Ottoman Empire, whose lands spread over three continents, would be much earlier than many other technological innovations. The history of the railway in Anatolian lands begins on September 23, 1856, when the British entrepreneurs, who were given concession to the 130 km Izmir-Aydin line, hit the first dig. Later, again, with the concessions given to western countries, especially in Western Anatolia, Baghdad and Hejaz lines were built. Among these lines, only the Hejaz line was built by the Ottoman Empire's own facilities. Only 1920 thousand 14 km of the total 4 thousand km line built until 136 is within the borders of the National Pact. In the first years of the Republic, between 1923 and 1940, despite all kinds of difficulties and economic difficulties, 3 thousand 208 km of railway line connecting the west of Anatolia to the east and south was built.
The world is in an economic crisis II. After World War II, under the influence of foreign countries, especially between 1950-2000 years, the state has intensified its investments on highways, completely neglecting the railways. In the first years of the Republic, 42 with passenger and 68 with freight share decreased by 2 to 5 and XNUMX by XNUMX.
Tır In the period of 1950-2000, the state has been concentrating on highways, completely neglecting railways. In the first years of the Republic, 42 and 68 freight share in the passenger has decreased by 2 to 5 and XNUMX to XNUMX.
In the last 15 years, with the changing state policy, huge projects have been implemented in railways; Plans have been made for a 2023 thousand km high-speed train line with the target of 10. In parallel with the investments made in high speed train lines, the renewal, electrification and signalization of existing conventional lines are carried out. In addition to these developments in railways, as a result of the metropolitan municipalities turning towards urban rail system transportation, a large investment move has started in the railway sector in the country with the public and private sector.
As is known, there are two railway corridors connecting Europe to Asia and the Far East. One of them is the corridor from the north of the Black Sea through Russia and the other from the south of the Black Sea through Anatolia. Although Russia line sizes differ from European standards, it takes its share of the cake. If the modernization of existing lines in Turkey, should be completed electrification and signaling. In this case, it has become inevitable for the state to improve its existing lines and to get support from the private sector in terms of operation while making investments for new high-speed train lines. In this way, it will be possible for the corridor connecting Europe to Asia to be activated in a shorter time. The model in developed countries shows this.
Privatization, not liberalization
With the investments of approximately 30 billion TL in recent years, the railway sector has whetted the appetite of both the private sector and foreign companies, and the need for restructuring of the railways has arisen. For this purpose, the Republic of Turkey State Railways (TCDD) envisages the liberalization of laws passed by parliament on April 24, 2013, so the reorganization of TCDD and the front of the biggest changes in the sector was opened.
With the draft law, the railways will remain entirely the property of the state, TCDD will undertake the duty of making infrastructure investments, repairing and modernizing the existing infrastructure and managing the traffic of the infrastructure on behalf of the state. Private companies to be authorized by the Ministry of Transport will perform transportation services with their own vehicles and, if deemed appropriate, will also be able to build infrastructure. In addition to TCDD's responsibility for the infrastructure, TCDD Taşımacılık A.Ş. will operate as a state institution in some lines. For these reasons, this restructuring is not a complete privatization, but a sharing of the operation of some lines with the private sector. Therefore, I think it is not correct to interpret it as the privatization of railways in some media publications and some non-governmental organizations.
Kombine As in developed countries, the importance of railways as well as road transport is increasingly increasing due to the fact that transport is no longer a single mode but requires combined transport. Therefore, the private sector should be a part of the restructuring. "
This process can be described as liberalization of railways, many are of strategic importance for Turkey and the 2023 2035 objectives; competition will provide further development of railways. In recent years, the government has made large investments and plans in the sector, the management of the business with more modern methods, the increase in the service quality as a result of the competition, the assumption of the responsibilities of the state rather than the management, the increase of the share of the railways in terms of both passenger and freight transportation, require such a restructuring. . As in developed countries, the importance of railroads as well as road transport is increasingly increasing due to the fact that transport is no longer a single mode, but requires combined transport. Therefore, the private sector should be a part of the restructuring. This model will enable the country's railway capacity to be fully used and more fully utilized, and to increase the share of railways among other modes of transport.
In parallel with the investments made in Turkey, the state railways, urban rail transit system projects in metropolitan cities is increasing as well. In addition to the increase in the education of rail systems in universities, research and development (R & D) activities are also intensified. One of the most important examples of this is the biggest and most modern Test and R & D center of Anadolu University in Eskişehir, which is perhaps the world's largest and most modern Test and R & D center on railways (Uraysim Project). Thus, the rail industry in Turkey, with public and private organizations, is in a major breakthrough. in the coming restructuring model with the new law, will provide a major contribution to this development in the near future, on Turkey's rail system is not only their own needs, in the Middle East and Turkic Republics I believe the future of the center still responsive to their needs.
Prof. Dr. Tuncer Toprak, Bahçeşehir University Department of Transportation Engineering. He has many articles, researches and books on transportation, especially the railway sector. He served as a consultant at the General Directorate of TCDD on "High Speed Train" for four years.
The views contained in this article are those of the author and may not reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.
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