Linking Turkey’s biggest cities

June 5, 2015


The new high-speed railway linking Ankara and Istanbul is one of the most important infrastructure investments in the country. The fast-train link between Turkey’s two biggest cities is scheduled to carry more than 50 000 passengers a day.

Worker Turkish highspeed railway

When the new fast-train line opens in Turkey in 2013, it is scheduled to carry more than 50 000 passengers a day. The project will reduce the time to travel between Ankara and Istanbul from six and a half hours to only three hours.

This huge infrastructure project has been divided into phases, some of which are already completed. Mustafa Yasar, chief of tunnels at the Cengiz-Ictas-Belen (CIB) Consortium in Turkey, has worked with the high-speed railway project since its start in 2009. He has been in charge of tunnel drilling in railway stretches involving approximately 52 kilometers of tunnels.

“We only use Atlas Copco machinery: loaders, diggers and hydraulic breakers,” says Yasar. “In a project this size we wanted to work with a reputable and world-leading company like this.”

Both bedrock and clay have created challenges for the construction team.

“Initially we had problems with the hydraulic breakers as the pistons got stuck and broke,” says Ahmet Köse, excavator operator at CIB Consortium.

The broken pistons created frustrations as well as friction in the relationship between the customer and Atlas Copco.

“We were obviously very keen to solve this quickly,” says Gürkan Burak Buyurgan, who at the time was a sales engineer at Atlas Copco but has since moved to Surface Drilling Equipment where he is Business Line Manager.

“One problem was that this was tunnel drilling with a stone structure that was hard to work through. Another problem was that the operators weren’t used to our machines.” A quickly arranged instruction course for the operators solved one part of the problem; replacing the classic pistons with the more hard-wearing SilverLine pistons solved the other.

“Since then the work has gone very smoothly,” says Köse who adds that he really likes the hydraulic breakers as they can reach areas that generally are hard to access.

“Working with the high-speed railway has increased our aftermarket service,” says Burak Buyurgan. “Since the operator courses in the beginning we have also arranged courses on how to service the machines and arranged other regular educational events for the operators. This is something that has been very much appreciated.”

“The positive feedback from the CIB Consortium proves that we are doing a good job,” says Turgut Kiriş, Business Line Manager, Construction Tools Division at Atlas Copco, Turkey.

“This encourages us to continue our ongoing dialogue with the customer and to further develop and improve our sales and aftersales departments to meet customer demands.”

Exploring the third dimension

To relieve the traffic and pressure of surface transportation, “we need to exploit the space beneath our feet,” says Gunnar Nord, underground specialist at Atlas Copco. “And with modern-day drilling tools the capacity to do it is here.”

City planners around the world, from Stockholm to Singapore, agree with him and are building attractive infrastructure systems underground. Transport, energy, heating and utility structures can now be installed safely and efficiently underground, saving valuable space aboveground for people and the environment to thrive.

Written by Susanna Lindgren

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