Yüksek Hızlı Tren
|Service type||High-speed rail|
|Locale||Northwest, Central Anatolia|
|First service||March 13, 2009|
|Current operator(s)||TCDD Taşımacılık|
|Former operator(s)||Turkish State Railways|
|Start||Central Station, Ankara|
|End||Central Station, Eskişehir
Pendik Station, Pendik/Istanbul
Central Station, Konya
|Distance travelled||245 km (152.2 mi)|
|Average journey time||1 hour, 50 minutes|
|Service frequency||4 daily (Ankara-Eskişehir)
5 daily (Ankara-Istanbul)
7 daily (Ankara-Konya)
2 daily (Istanbul-Konya)
|Class(es)||First, business and economy class|
|Disabled access||Fully accessible|
|Seating arrangements||Airline-style coach seating|
|Catering facilities||On-board café, and at-seat meals in first class|
|Entertainment facilities||On-board television with feature films|
|Baggage facilities||Checked baggage available at selected stations|
|Rolling stock||HT65000 and HT80000|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||25 kV 50 Hz AC|
|Operating speed||250 km/h (155 mph) maximum|
|Track owner(s)||Turkish State Railways|
Yüksek Hızlı Tren or YHT (English: High-Speed Train) is the high-speed rail service of the Turkish State Railways, currently operating on two lines: Ankara to Istanbul via Eskişehir and Ankara to Konya via Polatlı. YHT is the only high-speed rail service in Turkey, with trains operating at speeds of up to 250 km/h (HT65000) or 300 km/h (HT80000).
Istanbul and Ankara are Turkey's largest two cities, having a combined population over 16,500,000. Transportation between the two cities is high. The Otoyol 4 motorway is a major highway between the two cities, and the Ankara–Istanbul route is the busiest route for the Turkish Airlines. The route between Istanbul and Ankara by rail has been a single-track line, and trains usually were delayed 30 minutes to 2 hours plus the average 7 hours, 30 minutes travel time. Rail transport in Turkey was already at its lowest point, so in 2003 the State Railways and the Turkish Ministry of Transport made an agreement to build a 533 km (331 mi) line between the two cities. The line would be an electrified double trackline. Construction began in 2004 from Esenkent to Eskişehir. The line was completed on April 23, 2007.
On February 28, 2007, TCDD requested bids for high-speed train sets from other networks to be tested on the completed portion of the high-speed line.
On November 20, 2007, the first TCDD HT65000 high-speed train sets purchased from CAF of Spain entered Turkey from the Kapıkule border station in Edirne, and tests were subsequently made with these trains prior to the commencement of services on March 13, 2009.
TCDD requested bids for the name of the high-speed service. Out of over 100 entries, the ones with the highest votes were: Türk Yıldızı (Turkish Star), Turkuaz (Turquoise), Yüksek Hızlı Tren (High Speed Train), Çelik Kanat (Steel Wing) and Yıldırım (Lightning). TCDD chose Yüksek Hızlı Tren to be the name of the service.
In 2010 one of the YHT trains was converted into a test train in order to test and measure the new lines. The Transportation Ministry spent 14 million TL (around 7 million Euros at that time) for the installation of testing and measuring equipment on the train, which it named – because it is a tradition to give a name to test trains – as "Piri Reis" after the renowned Turkish admiral and cartographer who drew some of the most accurate and detailed maps of the Mediterranean Sea and the Americas in the early 16th century.
On March 13, 2009, the inaugural ceremony took place in Ankara; attended by President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Minister of Transport Binali Yıldırım, who started the first phase of the YHT service between Ankara and Eskişehir.
Routes in service
This is the first high-speed route being put into service in Turkey and began on March 13, 2009. The journey time decreased incrementally after the initial journeys as additional sections of the first phase of the Ankara–Istanbul high-speed railway are opened. Even after the completion of the second phase, some journeys ends at Eskişehir to meet the high demand between Ankara and Eskişehir using the limited number of rolling stock.
Before the YHT came into operation, average journey time between İstanbul and Ankara was 7 hours and 30 minutes. By transferring from the YHT to intercity trains at Eskişehir, average journey time between İstanbul and Ankara has fallen to 5 hours and 30 minutes. After the completion of the second phase of the Ankara-Istanbul high-speed railway (Eskişehir-Istanbul) in 2013, some journeys between Ankara and Eskişehir were extended to Istanbul and YHT started running on the Ankara-Istanbul(Pendik) route on 26 July 2014. The journey is now reduced to as little as 3 hours 49 minutes.
The route was put into service on 23 August 2011 on the second high-speed railway line being constructed in Turkey. With its inauguration, the journey time between these two cities hugely decreased (mainly because of the absence of direct railway link between the cities).
The line was put into service on 17 December 2014. It stops at every stations on its route in which YHT service in present. The average journey time is about 4 hours and 17 minutes.
The YHT operates at a maximum speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) on high-speed tracks. But the YHT also runs on non-high-speed and renewed tracks like the Köseköy-Gebze section of the Ankara–Istanbul high-speed railway where its top speed is 160 km/h (99 mph). Naturally, some speed restrictions also apply in urban sections while accessing the central station, especially in Ankara and Istanbul thus increasing the journey times. The speed on these sections is expected to increase when renewal projects in urban areas (like Başkentray and second phase of Marmaray) will be completed.
Passenger car specifications
The YHT uses the HT65000 EMUs built by CAF and HT80000 EMUs built by Siemens. Every sets have railroad cars with cabins in the front and rear car, cars for economy class passengers and car(s) for first class passengers. Additionally, some HT80000 sets have business class cabins with 4 seats. The seating arrangements are 3 seats in a row (1 on one side, 2 on the other side) in first class and 4 seats in a row (2 on each side) in economy class. Automatic sliding doors provide passage between cars. Baggage may be stowed in the overhead compartments above the seats, or underneath the seats. Wi-Fi service is available with power inputs for laptops in first and business classes and all sets are wheelchair-accessible (with places in economy class only). In economy class, seats are fabric-coated and have audio connectors and foldable tables. In first class, there are leather-coated seats and a visual and audio broadcasting system that can broadcast at least 4 hours on 4 different channels.
Staff, operation and security
On YHT service, there is usually 1 train engineer (2 on some trains), a train conductor, a car attendant and a café car attendant. Business-class passengers are served meals at their seats if they applied for while buying their tickets. When accessing the trains, passengers must pass a security check like in airports. Maintenance of the sets is done at the Etimesgut Yard in Ankara.
- High-speed rail in Turkey
- Ankara–Istanbul high-speed railway
- Ankara–Konya high-speed railway
- TCDD HT80000
- TCDD HT65000
- Turkish State Railways
- YHT Tanıtım Kitabi (YHT Reference Book), published by TCDD and Turkish Ministry of Transport.
- "Velaro Turkey High-Speed Train" (PDF). Mobility.siemens.com. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
- "Technical specifications of TCDD HT65000". CAF. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- "Demiryolu" Magazine March–April Issue
- Hürriyet: Hızlı tren artık raylarda
- "Nuovo record di velocità del treno italiano Etr 500 in Turchia: 303 km/h" (in Italian). Il Sole 24 Ore. 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
- TCDD English Site - First High Speed Train set arrived in Turkey
- Vikipedi - YHT Vikipedi Page (in Turkish).
- "Ankara-İstanbul YHT'yi Piri Reis ölçüyor". Hürriyet. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- YHT Timetables TCDD Official Site