The president and prime minister attended the inauguration ceremony of the High Speed Train (HST) Station in Ankara on Saturday. The station, which will provide service to 50,000 people per day, stands out among other stops of the train network for its multi-functional architecture. Rather than a place simply for passengers to wait for the next train, the station includes large commercial spaces for shops, department stores, an array of restaurants, cafes, cinema and a five-star hotel with 134 rooms. Twelve office spaces and a parking lot for 1,910 vehicles are also among the other facilities of the station, distinguished for its modern architectural style. The station will be directly linked to means of mass transit, such as a suburban rail system and the subway.
The station has a closed area of 194,460 square meters and consists of eight floors, including the basements, three platforms and six high-speed lines.
High-speed trains are a relatively new concept in Turkey. The railroad network, despite an emphasis on its expansion in the early years of the Republic, remained underdeveloped. The country started high-speed railway operations with lines between the capital and Eskişehir, in the west, in 2009. It was followed by lines between Ankara and Konya in 2011, Konya-Eskişehir in 2013 and Ankara-Istanbul, Konya-Istanbul lines in 2014, making Turkey the eighth country in the world to utilize high-speed trains and the sixth in Europe.
Construction work is underway for more high-speed lines between Ankara and the central city Sivas, as well as the western city of İzmir. High-speed lines are also being planned between the western cities of Bursa and Bilecik and the central cities of Konya and Karaman.
As part of its "2023 goals," a set of ambitious projects Turkey undertook to mark the 100th anniversary of the Republic, Turkey plans to lay 3,500 kilometers of high-speed rail lines