Evaluation of rail freight transportation in Turkey prior to deregulation

Cebeci, Alper
Rail freight is a major component of industrial development in a country, as it provides very cheap transportation opportunities for raw materials, such as coal, ores, etc. However, due to its stop-to-stop nature, it always requires a first- and last-mile connection with another mode, thus, has relatively longer total travel times. As a results, it can hardly earn the revenues necessary for its operations and has been heavily subsized by govermnets in many countries. To overturn this situation, deregulation of the rail freight which could bring more competition, thus efficiency, has been tried in different countries in the world, including the EU region. As a candidate for EU membership, Turkey has also developed the legal framework for deregulation of the rail freight sector, which has been put into action in 2017. However, there has been no predictions on the potential impacts of this reform, so far, which is the main focus of this study. Due to the lack of disaggregate freight data from various modes (road, rail, etc.), performing a traditional four-step analysis with mode choice model is very challenging in developing countries like Turkey. Thus, evaluation of the effects of rail freight deregulation can be only achieved by monitoring the trends and shifts in the total rail commodity flow data, as proposed in this study. Using the digitially vi recorded commodity flow data for 4 years period before the deregulation (2011-2014), two years of transition period (2015-2016), which included major renovations along many rail corridors, and first two years after the reform (2017-2018), it was possible to determine the spatial distribution of the major rail freight demand in terms of net-tonnes in Turkey, using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Similarly, cost information was used to determine rail corridors with higher revenue levels. Aggregation of station level freight and revenu data enabled the determination of the city-based total production and attraction values, which was also determined for 20 commodity types defined in (NST 2007). While before analyses showed that the rail freight demand in Turkey was distributed unevenely over the geograph, as it was mainly governed by the location of natural resources and major heavy industrial settlements (i.e, steel manufactoring factories, etc.). The major shifts to private sector after deregulation are also observed along these corridors, where single commodity type is carried in large volumes.


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Citation Formats
A. Cebeci, “Evaluation of rail freight transportation in Turkey prior to deregulation,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2019.