The European Investment Bank provided EUR 400 million in favour of the Turkish State Railways TCDD as a further contribution to the country’s main transport corridor between Ankara and Istanbul. The additional funding brings the total EIB support for the high speed railway line (HSL) to EUR 1.25 billion and the total value of EIB support for the Turkish rail system in the last decade to some EUR 2.4 billion. This facility further consolidates the position of EIB as Turkey’s key financial partner for the funding of priority railway projects and the country’s efforts to re-balance its transport mode mix in favour of the railways.

This flagship project was first financed by the EIB in 2006. It aims at building the country's first high speed railway between the country’s two largest cities.  The project will lead to significant time gains for travelers along the corridor and will assist economic development and quality of life as well as generating significant environmental benefits. The project constitutes a key element of the Government’s plans to increase the share of rail transport by improving productivity and effectiveness of railway operations.  It will interconnect with the Marmaray Bosphorus Tunnel, enabling train connections across the two continents. In addition, the project is strongly supportive of key strategic objectives of EU policy and is a continuation of the Pan-European Corridor IV. The European Union is also providing a grant of EUR 120 million to the HSL project through its Instruments for Pre-Accession (IPA) funds.  This project is therefore an excellent example of the complementary use of EU grants and EIB loans for this priority investment in the sustainable transport infrastructure of the country.