The first rail welding ceremony at the Edirne stage of the ‘Iron Silk Road’ will be held today
The rail welding ceremony was attended by Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Turkey Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer, as well as AK Party Edirne Deputy Fatma Aksal. “With this project, Edirne will go beyond being our gateway to Europe and will be the most important pillar of the Iron Silk Road”, she told local media.
The Turkish ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and local authorities held a so-called first rail welding ceremony earlier on Wednesday for a new high-speed line and freight connection across the European part of the country.
The new high-speed line will connect the towns of Edirne, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ to the existing line originating at Istanbul’s Halkalı station. For freight trains, the project means a direct connection between Halkalı and Kapıkule, the border gate to both Greece and Bulgaria.
Travel time for freight trains between Halkalı and Kapıkule, a 229-kilometre-long section, will be reduced from 8 to 3,5 hours, according to information shared by the ministry. The line between Halkalı and Kapıkule will feature 2 viaducts, 63 overpasses, 52 underpasses and 33 railway bridges.
Once the work is completed, passenger train services will take 1,5 hours instead of 3,5. Capacity on the section will increase fourfold, the ministry also said.
Expressing that Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu and Head of the European Union Delegation to Turkey Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer – Landrut will also attend the ceremony to be held, Aksal said:
“We are proud to be holding the first rail welding ceremony within this scope in the Halkalı – Kapıkule Railway Line Çerkezköy-Kapıkule Section Construction Project, which we continue to work on without slowing down. With the project that will connect Edirne, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ to the high-speed train network, for freight trains between Halkalı and Kapıkule. travel time will be reduced from 8 hours to 3.5 hours, for passenger trains from 3.5 hours to 1 hour and 35 minutes, and the line capacity will increase 4 times.
The shortening of the distance between Istanbul and Edirne, which is a center in many areas, will benefit our city in industry, trade and economy, and will be a great step for our regional development. With this project, Edirne will go beyond being our gateway to Europe and will be the most important pillar of the Iron Silk Road. Good luck to our region, our compatriots and our country in advance.”