Impact of high speed railway systems on inter-regional trips and accessibility in Turkey
High-speed trains are faster, safer, more comfortable than road transport for trips of 250–1000 kilometers. Accordingly, a significant increase has been observed in inter-city railway transport following the construction of high-speed railway (HSR) connections. The present study shows the effects of HSR on accessibility and potential savings in time when compared to other transportation modes. The time saved by HSR systems has been shown to change purpose trip. The level of accessibility provided by the HSR between Konya–Ankara–Istanbul link is compared with the accessibility of other travel modes through an investigation of the weighted average travel times and an analysis of costs. Furthermore, data gathered from a field study carried out among users of the Konya-Ankara HSR link is used to identify the distribution of travel choices among different transportation modes, based on such social and economic indicators as income, car ownership and employment status. It is found that HSR service increases accessibility between cities, and changes travel demands and purpose, in favor of railways, and that economic factors such as income and car ownership are important in the use of HSR services. Finally, this research identifies social and cultural activities as a new reason for travel, in which users diversify their travel destinations because of the time savings offered by HSR systems.
High speed train, Accessibility, Transportation demands.