The localization rate in railway construction in Turkey has reached 90 percent, said İsa Apaydın, Director General of the State Railways of the Republic of Turkey (TCDD).
Apaydın noted that since 2003, approximately TL 60 billion ($10.5 billion) has been invested in the railway sector thanks to the government's support for railways and increased allowances.
He recalled that even the traverses on the Ankara-Eskişehir high speed train line used to be imported. "At the moment we arrived, we reached 90 percent locality in the construction of railways including traverses, rails, track fastenings and wires we call ‘pateners.' In railway construction, we have now achieved a 90 percent localization rate, while we used to import even the traverses 15 years ago," Apaydın said, stressing that they started to produce many necessities for railway construction domestically.
"We have realized our ‘National Freight Car' project in Sivas as part of our tractive and hauled stocks in the freight and passenger transport we have used in the upper structure of our railway," he said, saying that approximately 150 vehicles were produced in Sivas with a locality rate of around 90 percent, while they were put into the service of cargo companies both in Turkey and abroad.
Stating that in Adapazarı, they designed a passenger train set called "passenger car set" which can be operated at a speed of 160 kilometers, Apayadın said its design phase is over, and that they are currently producing components, highlighting that after the production of these components, the procurement process will be finished this year, and that they aim to produce this set and put it on the tracks next year. Apaydın continued, "We also aim to produce our high-speed train sets in Eskişehir, which will be needed for our future lines. Their designs are also completed. We hope to produce them in Eskişehir together with the tender processes we will hold within the scope of the industry cooperation project."
Apaydın pointed out that the approximate cost of a set used in railways is around 30 million euros.
"We are talking about a huge market. All of these sets imported from abroad will be produced in Turkey and our locality rates will range from 53 percent to 70 percent," he noted.
He also said that they aim to produce the needs of local municipalities domestically. "This has a volume of around TL 2 billon to 3 billion. Hopefully, we aim to keep the money that will go abroad in-house by producing all of these in our country."
Apaydın said approximately 7 million passengers have been transported with high-speed trains in Ankara, Eskişehir, Konya and Istanbul this year, adding that the number of passengers will reach very high figures, as many as 100-150 million, with the Ankara-Sivas line being commissioned and the passenger transports to be carried out in the coming years.