General information


Turkey is situated in the Southwestern Asia. The geographical area where Turkey is located is also called Anatolia / Asia Minor).

Turkey connects Asia to Europe. It is located in the southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia between 5.26º 42N and 26º45E in the northern hemisphere. The territory could be depicted as a rectangle, the length of which from East to West is about 1660 km and its width is approximately 550 km. Turkey is surrounded by the sea from three sides. This country with a width of 783000 square km stands at the 5th place among the countries in the world.


Turkey has two European and six Asian neighbors. It shares borders in the North with the common wealth countries (610 km), in the East with the Islamic Republic of Iran (454 km) and with Iraq (331 km), in the West with Syria (877 km), Greece (212 km) and Bulgaria (269 km).

Ankara is the capital city of Turkey, and Istanbul, Izmir and Antalya are amongst the big cities.


Population of this country, according to the latest census, has been estimated 80.1 million.

Turkish State Railways (TCDD)

The Turkish State Railways (TCDD) is aware of its role in connecting Europe to Asia and the Middle-East. The geographical situation of the Turkish railway network puts another responsibility on the shoulders of this organization that is indeed offering high-quality services, according to the international standards.


The first operation of railway in Turkey was made on a 130 km line. Construction of this rail line began in 1856 by granting a concession to an English company. Pursuant to the independence campaign, the rail network that had been extended up to 4000 km, confined only to the national borders, which were identified by the declaration of the Republic of Turkey. In 1924, the railway officially became nationalized; so the maintenance, repair and operation of the rail lines were undertaken by it (therefore it becomes evident that TCDD is in charge of ports either). The railway that had been launched with a small amount, changed into a state economic

sector that offered competitive and qualitative services to the public. Finally, upon a decree issued in 1984, this organization changed into a state and economic institution with higher scope.

Current situation of the Turkish State Railways



Mr. Metin Akbaş was born in Akçakale, Şanlıurfa (Turkey) in 1971.
After completing his primary and secondary school in Pozantı, Adana, he graduated from Eskişehir Railway Vocational High School in 1987 and from Yıldız Technical University Faculty of Electrical Engineering in 1992 as an electrical engineer. He completed his master’s degree in urban systems and transportation management.
Mr Akbaş began his career in 1987 at Turkey State Railways, where he worked as a civil servant, telecommunications engineer in charge of the Thrace region, control engineer, service manager of Istanbul Suburban (founder), deputy director and director of the first region of TCDD up to the beginning of 2015. Between March 2015 and May 2016, he served as Deputy Director General of Infrastructure Investments at the Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and was Acting Director General of the same institution between May 2016 and August 2016.
He was appointed to the role of Deputy Director General of İstanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (İSKİ) of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in September 2016.
He resigned from his duty as Deputy Director General of İSKİ in August 2019.
Mr Akbaş took up the position of TCDD Deputy Director General in January 2020 and began his work as Acting Chairman and Director General of TCDD in September 2021.
He is married and has a daughter and a son and speaks English.


Statistics (2020)


Total length of lines: 12.803 km

Length of high speed + rapid lines: 1.213 km

Length of conventional lines: 11.590 km

Length of main lines: 10.378 km

Electrified lines: 5.753 km

Signalized lines: 6.382 km

Track gauge: 1435 mm

Number of personnel: 13.722


Freight and passenger lines

The line Gaziantep – Karkamis – Pehlivankoy - Afyon to Manisa is only used for passenger transportation. The routes on which the passenger train is able to run with max. 100 km/h are Edirne to Istanbul, Istanbul – Ankara – Kayseri and Yildizeli to Bostankaya.

On all the rail routes of Turkey, the freight trains run with the max. speed of 60 km/h, except Hanli – Kayseri – Toprokkale – Iskenderun – Malatya to Dyarbakir on which the speed is lower.

Technical specification

In the railway network of Turkey, the max. standard length of the freight trains is 750 m. in future, the length of the freight trains will reach to 2000 m. The axle-load on the entire rail network of Turkey is 20 tons per axle; but from Narli to the border of Syria and Nusaybin, Fevzipasa to the border of Syria (Meydan Akbiz and Pehlivankoy), the axle-load reaches to the UIC standard, i.e. 22.5 tons per axle on the newly constructed routes.

The entire state railways of Turkey has 39.5, 46.3 and 49 kg/m, and there is no flexible fasteners (except for certain small sections in Istanbul to Gebez and Irmag and Karabuk).

The line of Ankara – Bogazkapru – Sivas – Malatya and Bogazkapru to Konya and Bogazkapru to Toprokkale/Mersin, Arifye – Alyant – Balikesir are equipped with continuous welded rails (CWR) and concrete sleepers; in the future plans, the UIC rails, type CWR, and flexible sleepers will be applied on the new lines.

On the border lines of the Bulgarian Railways (BDZ), Kapikole – Istanbul – Iskishehir – Ankara and Diverji – Toprokkale, Iskenderun, an electric locomotive with 25000 V and 50 Hz is used, and on the other lines, diesel traction is applied. On the border lines of Bulgaria (BDZ), Kapikole, Istanbul, Iskishehir – Ankara – Kayseri and Sivas/Diverji – Arzerum – Kares and the border strip of Georgia, the 25000 V and 50 Hz electricity is used; it will be equipped with the automatic signaling system within the next five years.

 Here is some technical information (standards) about the Turkish railway system:

  • Rail Gauge - 1,435 mm standard gauge
  • Electrification - 25 kV, 50 Hz AC Overhead lines
  • Loading Gauge - UIC GC
  • Traffic - Right-Hand traffic
  • Pantograph - 1950 mm (Old) and 1600 mm (New, Rebuilt and High-speed lines)
  • Rail - S49 (Old) and UIC 60 (New, Rebuilt and High-speed lines)
  • Sleepers - Wooden & Steel (Old) and Concrete (New, Rebuilt and High-speed lines)
  • Fastening - Baseplate based with Screw spikes (Old) and Tension Clamp (New, Rebuilt and High-speed lines)
  • Platform height - 380 mm (Low platforms), 550 mm (High-speed trains' platforms) and 1050 mm (Commuter rail platforms)
  • Coupling - Buffers and Chains (Locomotives and Passenger cars) and Scharfenberg (MUs)


Key rail projects of TCDD

High Speed Lines under Operation:

Since 2004, 1.213 km high speed lines have been constructed and started to be operated.

-          Ankara-Eskişehir High Speed Line (245 km): Turkey’s first high speed line inaugurated to the operation on 13th March 2009.

-          Ankara-Konya High Speed Line (310 km): Ankara-Konya High Speed Line put into service on 24th August 2011.

-          Ankara-İstanbul High Speed Line (513 km): This line put into service on 25th July 2014.

-          Konya-Eskişehir-İstanbul High Speed Line (631 km): High Speed Line between Konya-Eskişehir started to be operated on 23rd March 2013 and was extended to İstanbul on 17th December 2014.

Lines under Construction:

The construction works of 1.906 km high speed line and 1.042 km rapid line is still going on.

-          Ankara-Sivas High Speed Line (405 km): under construction

-          Ankara-İzmir High Speed Line (624 km): under construction

-          Bursa-Bilecik Rapid Line (110 km): under construction

-          Konya-Karaman Rapid Line (102 km): The infrastructure and superstructure works of the Konya-Karaman Rapid Line is completed and supplementary works beside electrification and signaling works are going on.

-          Karaman-Ulukışla Rapid Line (135 km): The construction of Karaman-Ereğli-Ulukışla Rapid Line is started.

-          Mersin-Adana Rapid Line (67 km): under construction

-          Adana-İncirlik-Toprakkale Rapid Line (79 km): The construction of Adana-İncirlik Rapid Line is started.

Affiliated companies

Tolumsas Co. (Locomotive and Engine, Iskishehir – Turkey) that is an industrial company recognized in 1985 as an affiliated company of TCDD initially founded as a workshop in 1894. This company, which has been developed by TCDD since 1924, has gained a macro-organizational structure. Tolumsas is capable of manufacturing 60 units of main line locomotives, 500 bogie wagons and repairing 30 locomotives annually; however, the Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI) does not have good cooperation experiences with this company in repairing the traction units, and the traction units repaired by this company had some defects.

Tel: +90(222)2240000

Fax: +90(222)2257474

Web site:


Tuvasas Co. (Wagon Industry, Adamperzi – Turkey) is capable of building 200 passenger coaches, rail buses, and railcars; however allegedly this company was damaged by the earthquakes in Turkey.

Todumsas Co. (Railway Rolling-stock Machinery, Sivas – Turkey) is capable of manufacturing 1500 bogie wagons and 13000 tons of various cast work. Total number of its staff in the affiliated companies is 5900 people. The production capacity of the said factory is beyond the local demand so that is able to export its products.

Tel: +90.264.275 16 60 (pbx)

Fax: +90.264.275 16 79


Web site: – E-mail: