The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a further €200 million to support an upgrade to Turkey’s rail corridor between the capital, Ankara, and the country’s largest city, Istanbul, to a high speed line.

This additional funding brings total EIB support for the country’s first high speed rail line to €1.5 billion. The 490km rail line will interconnect with the Marmaray Bosphorus rail tunnel, also supported by EIB funds.

Developed by Turkish State Railways, the project constitutes a key element of the government’s plans to increase the share of rail transport by improving the productivity and effectiveness of railway operations.

The project also forms part of Pan-European Corridor IV, and as such the EU is also providing a grant of €120 million to support construction.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said, “Since 2005, we have seen a surge in the Bank’s activity, which now stands at a robust annual volume of some €2 billion. That makes Turkey the biggest recipient country by far of EIB funds outside the Union, and would even put it as the seventh largest beneficiary country in the Union. This growth in EIB financing is a reflection of the changes that have taken place within Turkey, and also between Turkey and the EU.”

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