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Turkey Launches High-Speed Train In Hopes Of Impressing Europe

Where: Turkey
March 19, 2009 at 9:56 AM | by | Comments (0)

For a long time now, Turkey has been trying to play with the big boys in Europe. Joining the European Union couldn’t be going slower, and it wouldn’t surprise us if they never got into the club. However, one thing that may help its chances, albeit ever so slightly, is a high-speed train. If Europe has one thing going for it—it’s awesome trains—so what better way to get on their good side than to build your own?

Last week, Turkey launched the first trip of their new speedy rail transportation system, the Yuksek Hizli Tren, or YHT. Not only did the new train depart Ankara with speeds over 150 mph, but it also featured some pretty nice on-board amenities that would make even the shower-equipped A380 jealous—or not. Anyway, business class seats have access to personal televisions as well as power ports to keep your iThis and iThat all charged and ready to go.

Don’t get too comfortable though, since your ride will end short of Istanbul—they’re still finishing the track. When things are completed, you can get there in just about three hours.

Sitting between Europe and Asia, the country sees great promise in high-speed train travel, with some officials hoping to be part of a link between Beijing and London by 2023. However some negative nellies are quick to point out the system’s lack of funding and question the feasibility of laying new track over barren and mountainous terrain.

If you want to catch a ride, tickets are on sale through the end of March. A trip will only set you back about $3, but after that it’s going to jump to about $15—all aboard!

Related Stories:
·Turkish State Railways [Official Site]
·Turkey Launches First High Speed Train [Financial Times]
·Train Travel [Jaunted]

[Photo: Fabio Costa]

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