Ali Ihsan Uygun, the general manager of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) spoke at the panel titled “Railways Reform” held within the scope of the Turkish Railway Summit; he emphasized the advantages of railways compared to other transportations in his speech. Uygun said:
‘’The railroad marked the 21st century as a transportation mode that increases the speed, capability and capacity of industrial production that is dependent on logistics, but the cost of investments in this area is high. Turkey must make significant investments to ensure sustainability of the railway in line with the holistic development goals. Due to this requirement, our governments made an investment of 167.5 billion liras in our railways, which have been transformed into a state policy in the last 18 years.
The rapid development of other modes of transport, changing needs and passenger expectations in the logistics sector creates a need for restructuring for a more competitive and sustainable railway sector. Many exemplary reforms have been implemented in the world in order to provide this structuring, and these reforms aim at reducing the liabilities and expenditures of the state, maintaining financial efficiency, increasing the share of the railway sector in transportation.’’
Uygun talked about the railway reforms in Russia and Germany and about the developments attained through these reforms. He also emphasized that the latest global reforms are made in France, England, Spain, Ukraine and India.
‘’Liberalization will be in passenger transport.’’
Uygun referred to the process of the Turkish railway and said:
‘’ The share of railways in passenger transportation in our country in the 1950s was 42 percent and the share of freight transportation was 68 percent. These rates decreased to 1.3 percent and 5.5 percent and lost their vitality by 2018.
Railways hold an important position in the development of a country. In order to revitalize the railways, which play a decisive role in the development and independence of our country, and to strengthen their role in transportation, it is necessary to establish a free, competitive, economically and socially sustainable railway sector in line with the European Union (EU) legislation. In addition to the increasing continuation of the large investments made in the railroad sector in recent years, the need to regulate the sector and restructure TCDD has emerged.’’
Referring to the development of Turkey’s railway investment during the historical period, Uygun stated that they currently have 12,803 kilometres of railway lines, including 1,213 kilometres of high-speed train lines, and the proportion of double lines has increased from 5 percent to 13 percent.
In addition to infrastructure investments, Uygun emphasized that it is inevitable for the country to realize the reforms that enable the actors in the sector to increase the share of railways in freight and passenger transportation, and explained the reforms made in TCDD in this context:
‘’Passenger transportation by TCDD Transportation Inc. will be opened to the participation of private companies by 2021, and the liberalization in passenger transportation will be completed.’’
‘’We want to continue the intense work with Turkey.’’
Giovanni Rocca, Deputy Head of the International Business Development Department of Italian Railways (FS) talked about TCDD:
’’We started the work many years ago. That’s why we know how TCDD has evolved and what goals it has. Turkey is a very important country in terms of transportation. We have an office of our holding in Istanbul and we have been working with Turkey for more than 10 years. We founded the care centres for high speed trains in Ankara and Istanbul. We worked on the tunnels in Bosporus. We want to continue the intense work with Turkey.
Rocca said that they have companies operating in the fields of infrastructure and national transportation in different countries and that they are a structure that has united many companies.
source: AA / translated by Melisa Karayusufoglu