The 406km-long Ankara-Sivas high-speed line is being developed by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) between Ankara and Sivas in Turkey.

The new line will be the second longest railway line after the Ankara-Istanbul high-speed line upon completion.

Ankara-Sivas rail line is an important part of the Turkish Government’s Edirne-Kars railway corridor plan, connecting Europe with the Middle East. Turkey currently has 1,213km of high-speed railway lines, which the government aims to expand to 3,500km by 2023.

The railway line is being developed with an estimated investment of $1.5bn and will reduce travel time between Ankara and Sivas from 12 hours to just two hours. It is expected to be completed by late 2019 and will be operational by 2020.

Details of Ankara-Sivas high-speed line

The Ankara-Sivas high-speed line will be a double-track electrified and signalled line operating at speeds of 300km/h. It will have nine stations and run on a standard gauge of 1,435mm. Trains operating on the line will have a seating capacity of 516.

The project includes the construction of 49 tunnels totalling 66.2km in length, with the longest tunnel being 5.12km long. It will also have 52 viaducts totalling 28km in length, with the longest being 2.21km long. The line will also have 216 overpasses and underpasses.

The Ankara-Sivas line will be connected to the existing Sivas-Erzincan, Erzincan-Erzurum-Kars rapid lines of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project. It will use European rail traffic management system (ERTMS) technology comprising European train control system (ETCS) levels 1 and 2.

Construction of Ankara-Sivas high-speed line

Construction of the Ankara-Sivas high-speed line is being undertaken in two phases. The first phase includes the construction of the 253km-long Yerkoy-Sivas section, while the second phase construction encompasses the 153km-long section between Kayas / Ankara and Yerkoy.

“The Ankara-Sivas high-speed line will be a double-track electrified and signalled line operating at speeds of 300km/h.”

The project utilised C60 concrete along with a movable scaffolding system to construct four of the tallest viaducts of the line. One viaduct spanning 90m was constructed using the M1-90-S movable scaffolding system. Another viaduct spanning 55m was constructed using the M55-S movable scaffolding system.

Use of movable scaffolding systems halved the concrete and reinforcement required for construction. It also reduced pier dimensions, piles, and foundations required to support the superstructure and made the deck more slender.

The transition areas between the open track and bridges, tunnels, and high-speed turnouts will require high maintenance during the operations phase. A total of 65,000 sleeper pads and 125,000m² ballast and side mats are being installed in order to minimise maintenance required in these areas.

Details of the Yerkoy-Sivas section

The Yerkoy-Sivas section will include six stations namely Yerkoy, Yozgat, Sorgan, Akdag Madeni, Yildizeli, and Sivas. The section includes the construction of nine tunnels totalling 14.8km in length, nine viaducts with a combined length of 4.62km, as well as seven bridges, 30 overpasses, 51 underpasses, and 203 culverts.

The section will operate on 25kV AC power, which will be fed by four traction electrical substations. The section will also include a fully equipped traffic control station in Sivas.

Contractors involved

The joint venture of China Major Bridge, Cengiz, Mapa, Limak, and Kolin was awarded the contract for the construction of the Yerkoy-Sivas section of the project.

Yapi Merkezi has been contracted for the electrification of the Yerkoy-Sivas section, while Inserail and Pfisterer provided detailed engineering for the electrification of the section.

Construction of the section between Kayaş and Kırıkkale is being carried out by YÜKSEL and SÖĞÜT. The section includes infrastructure development and construction of six viaducts and five tunnels.

Austria-based company Getzner Werkstoffe received the contract to provide elastic bearings for vibration protection in November 2018.

Berd provided the movable scaffolding system for the construction of four viaducts of the railway line. Dogus Construction is the main bridge contractor, while its deck subcontractor is Kappa.

Other contractors involved in the Ankara-Sivas high-speed line include Siemens, Botek, Yapiray, ALTINOK, and YDA Construction Industry and Trade.