GeriGündem Turkey’s oldest train line operating again
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Turkey’s oldest train line operating again

İZMİR - The İzmir-Aydın line, which was the first railway line in Turkey, has restarted operations after a period of renovations. The first trip between the two cities took place recently with the participation of Binali Yıldırım, Turkey’s transportation minister.

"The 134-kilometer railway line between İzmir and Aydın has gone through a structural renewal at the cost of 60 million Turkish Liras, 20 million liras of which was allocated to purchase new trains," said Süleyman Karaman, CEO of Turkish State Railways, or TCDD. "Moreover, all the railway stations together with the passageways and the artwork along the line have been renovated."

They expect some 800,000 passengers to use the railway line annually, Karaman said.

Meanwhile, Yıldırım said they have built 15,500 kilometers of roads so far and that the target is to raise the figure to 22,500 kilometers by 2011.

"Although İzmir was conquered by Çakabey, an important seaman, the city has turned its back to the sea today. All the roads in the city need renovation work. Tourism in İzmir was on the verge of collapse. We revitalized cruise ship tourism by increasing the number of visitors to more than 1 million people since 2003," Yıldırım said. "Those living in İzmir will have the chance to go to the Adnan Menderes Airport from Alsancak in 19 minutes," Yıldırım said.

Noting that one of İzmir’s most important transportation lines is the Aliağa-Menderes light rail transit, he said: "There are 32 stations and many underpasses and crossovers along this line. The municipality could not complete renovations on this line, so the railway line was closed. Now we have founded a company called İzban that will complete the work by the end of 2009. Some 550,000 people will use this line every day."

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