Turkey expects China to invest in its high speed railway project from the eastern tip to the western part of the country, which would constitute an important part of the modern Silk Railroad, said the General Director of Turkish State Railway Suleyman Karaman here on Wednesday.
Karaman made the remarks at the 11th International Union of Railways UIC, European Rail Traffic Management System ERTMS, World Conference held in Istanbul.
The three-day meeting has drawn some 600 railway specialists and professionals from 38 countries under the theme of “Optimizing Rail Investments Worldwide” and they discuss the development of rail systems across the world.
The modern Silk Railroad in the 21st century becomes one of the topics at conference. The discussion focused on the new railroads that would link Europe to the Silk Road, like Baku, Tbilisi, Kars railroad projects and inside Turkey the 2,000 km long Kars-Edirne project.
“We would like to build railroads with our Chinese partners in Turkey or throughout the world,” Karaman said.
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Turkey Gong Xiaosheng said at another conference in Istanbul on Tuesday that China would like to help Turkey build the Edirne-Kars high speed railway which will link China with central Asian countries, Turkey and Europe. “The project will surely provide good opportunities to many countries for social and economic development in the region.”
The Edirne-Kars railway is designed to pass through 29 provinces from the far east province of Kars, near the border with Armenia to Istanbul where it would connect to Europe through the Marmaray rail tunnel and continue to Edirne, near the border with Greece and Bulgaria.
Turkey attributes significant importance to the project as it would be the country’s largest railway.
With the completion of the Edirne-Kars railway projects, the total length of high-speed rail inside Turkey is expected to reach 10,000 km by 2023.
Karaman pointed out that the construction works have been continuing on one hand. “But if we will solve the financial problems its process would continue in a more efficient way,” he added.
Turkish Minister of Transport Lutfi Elvan said at the conference that with the accomplishment of Edirne-Kars railway project, not only Turkey but also all the countries located on the modern silk railroad would derive a profit out of it.