Groundbreaking ceremony of “Irmak-Karabük-Zonguldak Railway Line Rehabilitation and Signalization Project”, the biggest project financed by the European Union in Turkey and contracted to the Joint Venture of Yapı Merkezi and MÖN İnşaat took place in Karabük Railway Station on May 15th, 2012.
Binali Yıldırım, Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communications, Egemen Bağış, Minister of European Union Affairs and Chief Negotiator, Mehmet Ali Şahin, former Chairman of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Jean Maurice Ripert EU Ambassador to Turkey and Siim Kallas Vice President of the European Commission attended the ceremony. Chairman of the Board of Directors Emre Aykar, member of the Board of Directors Erdem Arıoğlu and General Manager Özge Arıoğlu represented Yapı Merkezi in the ceremony and Yapıray General Manager Sami Günsay and Vice General Manager Levent Alpergin also attended the ceremony.
Minister Yıldırım stated in the ceremony that the funding assistance to renewal and signalization of Irmak- Karabük-Zonguldak Railway line from the Financial Assistance Fund prior to joining the EU (IPA) was initiated and added: “This important project has lead to a significant cooperation in the relations between EU and Turkey. We are initiating a railway project that will come out to almost half a trillion Turkish Liras. With the renewal of the line, the traffic will speed up, transport costs will fall down and also load quantities to be transported will increase”.
Siim Kallas, Vice President of European Commission stated that transport was a global issue and just looking at maps would help us understand the importance of Turkey's location.
Minister Yıldırım, got the promise out of Emre Aykar that the line which should be rehabilitated in 48 months in accordance with the contract shall be completed in 40 months.
In the Irmak-Karabük-Zonguldak Railway line Rehabilitation and Signalization Project that will cost €227.216.605 in total and a portion of €194.469.209 of which to be financed by the EU IPA funds, the first stage to be completed will be the Ülkü-Karabük-Zonguldak line where the train traffic is the busiest. Renewal and capacity improvement of the line shall hugely contribute to Turkey’s economic and regional development.
Environmentally conscious project in EU standards
Within the scope of the modernization of the existing line which aims to increase operational safety and reduce the travel time;
All tracks in the line will be renewed with 49E1 rails,
Tunnels and bridges will be overhauled,
253 level crossings will be equipped with automatic railway barrier systems with flasher, Under and over ground crossings will be constructed in some places,
Passenger platforms will be customized to disabled access and passenger information and announcement systems will be set up,
Road Extensions will be constructed in Çankırı, Karabük, Ülkü, Balıkısık and Yeşilyenice stations,
A Control Center will be established in Karabük with the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) suitable for 120 km/h and the European Train Control System (ECTS) Level 1 Signalization and Telecommunication System in the entire line,
It will be assured to certify the line by the International Certification Institution,
Project’s construction works will be managed in an environmentally conscious manner.