DSI Retired Deputy Regional Director, Senior Engineer Hüseyin Erkin, 218 km Halkalı - Drawing attention to the fact that at least 10 million square meters of agricultural land will be destroyed for the construction of the Kapıkule high-speed train line, he said that if the existing railway is rehabilitated and modernized with the same route, the line will be built cheaper and with less soil loss.
Erkin, "Should the high-speed train be our priority?" In his written statement, he stated that the existing lines in neighboring Bulgaria have been modernized for high-speed trains, and underlined that with the money spent for the new line, the starting and continuing dams can be completed in Edirne. Erkin stated the following in his statement:
“Since 2013, Halkalı Kapıkule 'High Speed Train' construction, which constitutes 153 kilometers of the project by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Çerkezköy-Kapıkule railway tender was held. The construction started in June 2019, which was acquired by the Limak construction partnership. Halkalı-Kapıkule Railway Line Project work continues. Of the total project cost of 530 million euros, 275 million euros will be provided from the European Union grant funds, and the other half from the national budget.Halkalı-Çerkezköy on the line in the 1st stage of construction ÇerkezköyIt will be built as stations in Büyükkarışıra, Lüleburgaz, Babaeski, Edirne and Kapıkule. 53 underpasses, 59 overpasses, 16 railway bridges, 2 tunnels, 194 culverts and 3 viaducts will be built in the project, which also includes art structures that are difficult to build. It will be built with double lines, 200 kilometers speed, signal and electrification, and the total investment cost will reach 6 billion lira, and freight and passenger trains will be able to operate.
Good project, but it is very important that every investment is feasible and efficient. Let's look at the weaknesses of the project before its advantages;
1-How many passengers will be transported from Edirne to make this line economical ?. It takes two hours to get to Istanbul by the TEM highway. While the bus leaves every half hour, the High Speed Train will run at most twice a day (if there is a passenger request). Currently, the Ankara-Konya high-speed train runs twice a day at 08.30 and 18.30. Standard price is 30 TL, monthly subscription fee is 687 TL. Bus ticket 40 TL
Edirne-Halkalı high speed train distance and fare will be almost the same, if there are as many passengers between Ankara and Konya…. In Edirne, students mostly come and go on weekends. Most likely Edirne-Halkalı flights will be mutual once a week.
2-Let's look at the realization of the Beijing-London railway line political discourse; When we examine the Bulgarian side after Kapıkule, we see that Bulgaria rehabilitated a large part of all railways with the support it received from EU funds from 2007 to 2020. Among these lines, Plovdiv-Burgas has transformed the Plovdiv-Sofia lines into infrastructure to be speeded. It also transforms the Sofia-Serbia and Sofia-Macedonia links into high-speed train infrastructure. However, no infrastructure work appears in the investment program of the Bulgarian Ministry of Transport, Railways Enterprise (NRIC) between Kapıkule-Svilengrad-Plovdiv. Even if the high-speed train comes to Edirne, the connection to Bulgaria is missing.
3-Halkalı - A large number of art structures will be built on the Kapıkule high-speed train line, and 218 km or even at least 10 million square meters of agricultural land will be destroyed. However, if the existing railway had been rehabilitated and modernized with the same route (as Bulgaria did), a line would have been built with less cost and land loss.
An important project Halkalı-If the Kapıkule fast skin line was made by leaving it to the following years, 6 million TL of this project, which is estimated to be 8,75 billion TL, is more urgent and the projects that will provide added value and employment to Edirne.
- Çömlekköy Dam 100 million TL (farmers have been waiting for 30 years)
- Tunca Project 25 million TL (proposed for investment)
- 150 million TL to complete the irrigation of Hamzadere Dam (continued for 17 years)
- 250 million TL for Çakmak Dam Irrigation (continued for 17 years)
Wouldn't it be more rational to spend it on investment projects?
Considerable amounts of money have been invested in Edirne in the last 20 years, as in every period. The important thing should be that these investments turn into added value and employment in the shortest time possible. Unfortunately, the investments to be made in Edirne are made only with the planning of the bureaucracy as usual. However, these investments should be followed by the local politics of Edirne and the relevant non-governmental organizations and most importantly by the deputies on the basis of planning, and the people of Edirne should be informed and the projects should be discussed. It is the deputies of the province who have the task of following the investments of the province and developing projects on this issue and who should be the first to know. Likewise, it should be evaluated that the 2013 m long Karaağaç Bridge with an investment value of 399 million TL, which was tendered in 1950, and the 5,5 km connection roads have spent 231 million TL so far and the benefits of this investment have not been made yet. Unfortunately, the high-speed train project could not be evaluated.
Unfortunately, these issues cannot be on the Edirne agenda. For Edirne, whose economy was losing rapidly, the time to come together around common sense and common sense is running out. " (border newspaper)