The state railway system, the TCDD (Türkiye Cümhuriyeti Devlet Demiyollari Isletmsei), was created on 1st June 1927 with the nationalisation of the Baghdad Railway. It planned many new routes and one of these was a line to serve the coal mining area around Zonguldak on the Black Sea coast. Construction of the line started from Irmak, the junction on the main line to Sivas east of Ankara, in 1931 and the line was opened to Zonguldak in 1937. This project was linked to the construction of a new steelworks on the line at Karabük which could then utilise the coal from the Zonguldak and iron ore from Divriği on the line to Erzincan also being built at this time. In 1949 a batch of 80 2-10-0s that had been ordered from the Vulcan Iron Works at Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, were delivered to the TCDD and it was this class of engine that then served as the principal motive power on this line up until dieselisation. This is an extremely long and mountainous line with the Çankiri to Karabük section in particular involving very long continous climbs north from the former and south from the latter, which normally involved the use of banking engines for many kilometres.
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