History of rail transport in Turkey
The history of rail transport in Turkey began with the start of the placement in 1856 of a 130 kilometres (81 mi) railway line between Izmir and Aydın. The first finished Ottoman railway line was a 66 kilometres (41 mi) line between Köstence (Constanţa, Romania today) and Boğazköy (Cernavodă, Romania today) built in 1859-1860.
The state corporation that manages the Turkish railway system, Turkish State Railways, subdivides the history into the Pre-Republic period (Ottoman period), the Republic period (which extends from 1923 to 1950) and the period after 1950. During the first period, railways were built and operated by foreign concerns with permission from the state. In the second, the state took over its own railways and expanded them in support of Turkish financial interests. In the third period, attention turned from rail travel to highways, and the expansion of railways dramatically slowed.
- 1 Ottoman Empire period
- 2 Republican Period (1920-1950)
- 3 1950s forward
- 4 Proposed lines
- 5 Timeline of railway investment and construction under the Ottoman Empire
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Ottoman Empire period
During the period of the Ottoman Empire British, French and German concerns funded and ran private railways in Turkey having gotten permits to do so from the state.
İzmir-Aydın railway (1860-)
The first railway to be constructed in Turkey was the Izmir-Aydin line, the first part of which was opened in 1860. Further construction and extension of the line continued up to 1912, by which time the total length was in excess of 700 km.
İzmir-Turgutlu railway (1865-)
European (Şark) railway (1871-)
Anatolian railway (1872-)
The first section of the Anatolian railway (Anadolu demiryollari) opened in 1872, and the line saw constant growth through the next three decades.
Mersin Tarsus Adana railway (1882-)
Bagdad railway (1904-)
Cenup railway (1912-)
First opened in 1912.
Republican Period (1920-1950)
During the Turkish War of Independence, the new breakaway government in Ankara held control over sections of railways located in central and southern Anatolia. In 1920, these were brought under the roof of Chemin de Fer d'Anatolie ("Anadolu Şimendiferleri" - distinct from "Ottoman Anatolian Railways") with its center in Ankara and administered by Behiç Erkin, the founding figure of modern Turkey's railway network and a colonel at the time. Erkin pursued his office as director general beyond the war during a crucial period that lasted until 1926, after which he was Turkey's minister for transports for two years.
In 1923, Turkish railways entered into what the Turkish State Railways term the "Republic Period", a "golden age" that lasted until 1950. During this time, the railways that had already been created were repurposed to serve Turkish financial interests, prioritizing industrial growth in such industries as iron, steel and coal. In addition to claiming existing lines, the Turkish government extended lines into the previously underrepresented Central and Eastern areas of Turkey to achieve near balance. Between 1935 and 1945, emphasis was placed on construction of junction lines, to improve industrial connectivity and also strengthen national defense. As a result, distance of travel between various points was significantly shortened.
During this period, the following main routes were constructed:
- Sivas-Erzurum (Caucasus line)
- Samsun-Kalin (near Sivas)
- Irmak-Filyos (Zonguldak ( coal line)
- Adana-Fevzipaşa-Diyarbakır ( Copper line)
- Sivas-Çetinkaya (Iron line)
According to the Turkish State Railways, beginning in 1950 the railways of Turkey were ignored and neglected as focus turned to land routes. In the early part of the period, the improvement of the roadway system was conceived to support the rail system, but instead of the coordinated building of both road and rail structures intended, railroad constructed slowed dramatically. In the 1980s, the national transportation plan "1983-1993 Transportation Interim Planning" was adopted with a goal in part of decreasing highway transportation share from 72% to 36%, but the plan was abolished in 1986 without implementation. In 2002, only 4% of freight transported in Turkey traveled by rail, and only 2% of passenger travel was conducted by rail.
Timeline of railway investment and construction under the Ottoman Empire
|CONSTRUCTED MAIN LINES
|Year of concession||length in km||construction period||initial investors||later investors|
|LINE IN ISOLATION; Köstence (Constanţa today) - Boğazköy (Cernavodă today)||1856||66||1859–1860||UK||UK|
|İZMİR-AYDIN RAILWAY AND PROLONGEMENTS (Oriental Railway Company)|
|Aydın-Sütlaç-Çivril section and Sütlaç-Dinar-Eğirdir section||1879/1911||342||1879–1912||UK||UK|
|LINE IN ISOLATION; Rusçuk (Ruse today) - Varna||1861||224||1863–1866||UK||UK|
|THE SMYRNE CASSABA RAILWAY AND PROLONGEMENTS|
|İzmir-Kasaba (Turgutlu) section||1863||93||1863–1866||UK||F|
|Kasaba (Turgutlu) - Alaşehir section||1872||76||1872–1875||UK||F|
|Manisa - Soma connection||1888||92||1888–1890||UK||F|
|Alaşehir-Afyon (Afyonkarahisar) section||1884||252||1894–1896||F||F|
|ORIENTAL RAILWAY (also famous for the Orient Express)|
|Istanbul-Edirne section||1868/1869||318||1869–1870||F - B - S - A||G|
|Eastern Rumelia section||1868/1869||386||1872–1888||F - B - S - A||G|
|Salonica-Mitrovica (Kosovska Mitrovica today) section||1868/1869||363||1872–1874||F - B - S - A||G|
|Edirne - Dedeağaç (Alexandroupoli today) section||1868/1869||149||1870–1872||F - B - S - A||G|
|Bosnia section||1868/1869||102||1870–1872||F - B - S - A||G|
|Babaeski- Kırklareli connection||1910||46||1911–1913||F - B - S - A||G|
|Üsküp (Skopje today) - Serbia border connection||1885||131||1885–1887||Int'l||Int'l|
|LINE IN ISOLATION; Mudanya - Bursa (Chemin de Fer Moudania Brousse)||1881||41||1872–1892||O - F - B||O - F - B|
|LINE IN ISOLATION (later connected to Baghdad Railway);
|Haydarpaşa-İzmit section (later incorporated to Baghdad Railway)||1871||93||1871–1873||O||G|
|İzmit-Eskişehir-Ankara section (İzmit-Eskişehir section later incorporated to Baghdad Railway)||1888||486||1888–1890||G||G|
|Eskişehir-Konya connection (later incorporated to Baghdad Railway)||1893||445||1893–1896||G||G|
|Salonica-Monastir (Bitola today)||1890||219||1891–1894||G||G|
- RAILWAYS POLICIES THROUGHOUT THE 80 YEARS HISTORY OF OUR REPUBLIC www.tcdd.gov.tr
- CUMHURİYET ÖNCESİ YAPILAN VE BUGÜN KULLANILAN DEMİRYOLU HATLARI "Railway lines in the Republic of Turkey and before" ww.tcdd.gov.tr
Media related to Rail transport in Turkey at Wikimedia Commons
- www. trainsofturkey.com "A site for the Turkish Railway Enthusiast" Comprehensive infomartion on the Turkish railway system, including historical information.
- Turkish State Railways : RAILWAYS POLICIES THROUGHOUT THE 80 YEARS HISTORY OF OUR REPUBLIC www.tcdd.gov.tr
- Turkish museum of transport Rahmi : M Koç Museum www.rmk-museum.org.tr