Hurriyet- The draft bill formulated to open Turkey’s state-controlled rail network to the private sector awaits the consideration of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM).
The recently submitted draft includes the restructuring of the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) into a corporate entity in control of the country’s 12,000 km-long railroad network and related infrastructure, and grants the right to private companies appointed by the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications to build and operate railroads to carry freight and passengers.
According to the draft, TCDD will continue to function as a railway operator for certain train lines and will have its share of the state budget for the maintenance and renovation of the railroads. The Ministry will handle the appropriation of the immovables should the private companies choose to build their own railroads, on the condition that the interested party bears the appropriation cost.
Intending to increase the use of railways for both cargo and passenger transportation, Turkey plans to add some 15,000 km of track to its existing network over the next 10 years. Railways are expected to account for 15 percent of the country’s passenger travel and 20 percent of the freight transportation by 2023.