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Turkey's high-speed train starts first travel
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20:13, March 13, 2009

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Turkey's first high-speed train makes its official trip from the capital city of Ankara to the neighboring province of Eskisehir on Friday, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated the high-speed train service at a ceremony in Ankara, which marks the official start of the long-awaited high-speed train shuttle between Ankara and Eskisehir.

The train "YHT," constructed by Turkish State Railways Authority (TCDD), will make four round trips a day between Ankara and Eskisehir, said the report, adding that it will shorten the 180-minute, 210-km journey between the two cities to only 80 minutes.

Speaking at the ceremony, Erdogan said they targeted to complete Ankara-Konya (south-central Turkey) part of the railway line by the end of 2009.

Turkey started laying high-speed rail lines in 2003 and will eventually link the capital to the country's largest city Istanbul. The first phase of the project is the line between Ankara and Eskisehir.

When the project is fully completed, travel time between Ankara and Istanbul will be reduced to three hours from the current six-and-a-half hours.

Source: Xinhua

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