Increasing Impact of Climate Change-Induced Flash Floods  on Railway Infrastructure in Türkiye

Increasing Impact of Climate Change-Induced Flash Floods  on Railway Infrastructure in Türkiye

Dursun Yıldız


HPA Hydropolitics Academy Center


It is obvious that an increase in extreme precipitation occurs, not only in some regions but around the globe. The fact that the world has experienced multiple record flooding events in recent years – including catastrophic flooding in Türkiye – is not a coincidence. Climate change is making record-breaking extreme precipitation more likely.

The latest assessment report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows how this pattern will continue in the future as global temperatures continue to rise.

Climate change-induced flash floods have also become increasingly frequent in Türkiye, severely affecting the railway infrastructure since the last few years. Physical damages to railway tracks by heavy precipitation and flash floods are documented. However, the impact of these disasters on the railway infrastructure was beyond direct physical damages.

 This paper aimed to explore the impact of climate change-induced extreme weather conditions such as flash floods on railway infrastructure in Türkiye using some cases. Three cases were used  to analyze the cause and effect of   flash floods damage  on railway infrastructure

We find that damage to railway infrastructure and disruption of railway services were associated with missing modern monitoring services, under capacity of the railway culvert, and weakness of the railway infrastructure under extreme meteorological conditions, which triggered the disaster vulnerability.

The results show that under this current situation, climate change-induced heavy precipitation and flash floods might be significant potential threats to railway infrastructure in Türkiye.

Implementation of engineering works and strategic policies might reduce disaster risks. Therefore, policymakers and responsible state organizations should consider emerging risks and necessary measures to be taken under new meteorological and hydrological conditions.

Keywords:  Railway infrastructure; Flash floods, Extreme weather, Railways safety, Climate change.

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