Over the next five years Turkey will expand its railway network to 18,000 kilometers (11,184 miles), according to the nation’s transport and infrastructure minister.

Addressing a digital summit on transportation and infrastructure late Wednesday, Adil Karaismailoglu said Turkey’s railway investments will grow in the years to come.

“We have very important plans in areas such as connecting industries to railways, logistics, and transportation. We’re planning the next 50 years, 100 years,” he said.

Turkey started high-speed rail service over a decade ago and currently has more than 12,000 km (7,456 mi) of railway lines.

“We aim to expand our high-speed train lines from 1,200 km [745 mi] to 5,500 km [3,400 mi] in five years,” more than quadrupling the lines, he said.

Indigenous electric train to hit tracks in 3 months

Karaismailoglu also explained Turkey’s plans for cutting emissions as well as on logistics, mobility, transportation, e-commerce, big data, cloud technology, and digital space.

The first Turkish-made electric train, with its tests to be conducted on Aug. 30, is set to hit the tracks in three months.

The design and operating speeds of the first such train were planned at 176 km per hour (109.3 mph), and 160 km/h (99.4 mph), respectively.

“Turkey invested 880 billion liras ($128 billion) in its transportation and infrastructure over the last 17 years,” since the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party came to power, he concluded.

*Written by Aysu Bicer in Ankara

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