Value for money LRT in Turkey

6 December 2005  •  Author(s): Ken McQueen, Director, Louis Berger

During the last ten years,Turkey has invested in two heavy rail metro systems, seven light rail systems, and two nostalgic or ‘tourist’ tramways.All of these systems are operating to capacity, each meeting the planned ridership forecasts,with the possible exception of the Istanbul Metro.

Building a Metro is an expensive business and in both Istanbul and Ankara there have been no exceptions to this rule. Building a cost effective, value for money LRT, however, depends very much on the ingenuity of the design concept and the ability to complete on time and on budget by the contractors. In this respect what has been achieved in the cities of Turkey although not unique, can be upheld as a very good example of how Light Rail Transport can be introduced for a relatively low cost. In particular, this applies to Eskisehir, a city of 450,000 inhabitants high up on the Anatolian Plateau where 17kms of tramway was constructed through the CBD. This took less than 24 months at a total cost of US$120million including the supply of 18-30m Flexi Outlook Vehicles from Bombardier, a depot and all the associated civil works.

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