Working with the Directorate-General for Foreign Relations & European Union Affairs, the transport ministry has awarded a contract to modernise a 200 km section of the main line which links Istanbul with the Bulgarian border to a consortium of domestic construction and contracting groups Gulermak Agir Sanayii ve Taah and Alsim Alarko Sanayi Tes ve Tic, reports Railway Gazette.
The consortium submitted a bid of €489·2m, the lowest of six bids. The contract covers the dismantling and removal of the existing line between Cerkezkoy and Kapıkule, and construction of a new double track formation suitable for a maximum speed of 200 km/h. Also included is the procurement, installation and commissioning of 25 kV 50 Hz electrification, signalling with ETCS Level 1, and related telecommunications equipment.
In addition the contract includes the construction of ancillary buildings, remodelling work at Cerkezkoy and Kapikule stations, and the design and construction of two road viaducts, five overpasses, two underpasses, six culverts and six retaining walls. It also covers enhancements at the border station of Edirne, including installation of a pedestrian walkway. Construction work is scheduled to start in early 2019 but no completion date has yet been announced.
The Cerkezkoy - Kapıkule route passes through Corlu, where an embankment collapse in July this year caused the derailment of a local train resulting in the deaths of 24 passengers and injuries to 361.
The project is being partly funded through a €327m contribution from the EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance budget for Turkey for 2014-20. Once this upgrading programme and the surface works for the Marmaray project have been completed, Turkey would have a through rail route between its eastern and western borders.