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18 September 2006

From Istanbul to Ankara in Only Three Hours

HEIDENHEIM - Every year, some 12 million people are traveling between the Turkish cities Istanbul and Ankara - most of them by road or by plane. With a market share of only 10 percent, train travelers are somewhat in the minority. This will change over the next few years, as Turkey is currently building a completely new two-track high-speed line between these cities. The trains on this route will be fitted with Voith transmissions. The first 80 final drives have already been ordered.

Some stretches of the new high-speed route run alongside the old rail track. In total, it is, however, 43 kilometers shorter and fully double-tracked and electrified. This allows the operation of new train types that will cover the future route of 576 kilometers in three hours rather than the previous traveling time of six and a half hours.

The new trains are high-speed rail vehicles made by the Spanish manufacturer CAF. Each of the altogether ten trains ordered from Spain by TCDD Turkish State Railways is fitted with eight single-stage KE-456 final bevel gear drives from Voith Turbo. A trainset consists of six carriages with eight driven axles. The newly designed trains can hold a total of 419 passengers.

The first Turkish high-speed train will travel between Istanbul and Ankara at maximum speeds of 250 km/h. According to information from the Turkish rail industry, the construction cost of the new track will amount to some US$2 billion. A total of 39 tunnels and 33 bridges and viaducts have to be newly built. The new high-speed route might serve as a benchmark for further such routes in Turkey.

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