Globalrailnews.com - Turkey is best positioned to become the home of international rail manufacturing as Africa, Latin America and the Middle East look to double the size of their networks by 2022, a new report has found.
According to research by Frost & Sullivan, Africa will experience the most intense growth in the rail supply market over the next few years as key regions enter a period of relative political stability.
However, Turkey has been tipped as possibly the biggest winner, with its location likely to be highly sought after for delivering projects in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
The report also found that although global mainline freight and passenger levels had returned to normal following the economic downturn, rail investment in Europe remained ‘constrained due to the ongoing debt environment’.
Investing heavily in its own railway infrastructure, Turkey will increase the length of the nationwide rail network to 26,000 kilometers, nearly double that of today’s 12,000 km. The Turkish parliament passed a law that ended the state monopoly on the country’s railways last April, giving the private companies the right to build and operate rail lines to carry freight and passengers.
One of the first multinationals to recognize Turkey’s potential in this regard, General Electric’s (GE) transportation division, invested USD 150 million in the country to manufacture the Powerhaul line of locomotives in partnership with Turkey’s Locomotive and Engine Industry Corporation (TULOMSAS), in Eskisehir, central Turkey, both for domestic and export markets.