A new high-speed railway line, which connects Ankara and Istanbul, was put into operation in Turkey on July 25, Turkish TRT Haber channel reported on July 25.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials attended the opening of an Ankara-Istanbul new high-speed railway line, extending for 533 kilometers.
The construction project was implemented in two phases. The first stage is the construction of the Ankara-Eskisehir railway line, the second - the Eskisehir-Istanbul line construction.
The first phase of the project was completed in 2009.
When using the new high-speed railway, students, servicemen and people older 60 will have up to a 20 percent discount, while children under 12 years old - up to 50 percent.
It is expected that after commissioning the new high-speed rail line, the travel time from Ankara to Istanbul will drop to 3.5 hours. Currently, the trip time from Ankara to Istanbul is seven-eight hours by bus and 40 minutes by plane.
Under the 2023 Vision program [celebrating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey], the country has increased the investments in the development of transport sector.
Turkish State Railways said in January that it will invest almost half of its 2014 budget (1.8 billion liras) in the projects for development of high-speed trains in the country.