Major incidents of theft set back high-speed rail project

Major incidents of theft set back high-speed rail project :During the past seven months more than $2 million worth of electric cables have been stolen from construction sites for the second phase of the Ankara-İstanbul High Speed Train (YHT) line, Turkish news outlets reported on Friday.

In a total of 17 separate incidents of theft, 81,000 meters of electric cable have been stolen from YHT construction sites. The value of the stolen materials was $2.4 million, according to reports.

The China Railway Construction Corporation, the firm overseeing the construction of the high speed line, has issued a safety warning to the press due to the risk of electrocution from high voltage facilities present at the construction sites.

“At the Phase 2 construction sites of the YHT, the electric transmission lines produce a high voltage. As such, apart from employees, entering the railway construction area is strictly forbidden. Due to the loss accrued from stolen materials and the time required for repair, these incidents of theft have directly affected the duration of the construction process. Furthermore, our greatest concern is the risk to life due to electrocution from high voltage, which might occur during acts of theft and illegal destruction of property,” the statement said.

Turkey’s high-speed train projects have been beset with problems. In 2004, 36 passengers were killed when a high-speed train derailed en route from Ankara to İstanbul. The old railway lines were reportedly unable to handle the new high-speed trains. The Ankara-İstanbul line has yet to be opened after several delays. The first high-speed line, between Ankara and Eskişehir, was opened in 2009. Several high-speed lines are presently undergoing construction across the country.

Turkish State Railways (TCDD) came under fire late last year after news sources reported allegations that high-ranking TCDD officials had accepted bribes in return for awarding tenders to certain private companies.

Major incidents of theft set back high-speed rail project


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