A few more suggestions for passenger trains in Turkey:
Where’s My Train?
Following location of train is possible in Turkey almost for all trucks and buses. Furthermore, TCDD is following its trains by recording all arrivals and departures in every station electronically. Only thing to be done is allowing open access to this information via internet.
Simple and deserted restaurants in trains have some advantages. You can easily find place, spend a lot of time without pressure of consuming lots of things. On the other hand, it’s a little weird that train restaurants are so deserted where long queues are standard in even kiosks of half-an-hour-boat-services. First remarks are: Menu is limited (not running as kiosk), service is insufficient and sloppy.
Mobile Phone Coverage and Internet
Nowadays, it’s really a big problem to be out of mobile phone/internet coverage. There may be some who are happy not to hear any phone ring but trains are not only for touristic reasons. Good to have free WiFi in high speed trains despite interruptions and slowness. Mobile phones are only available only within city limits in other trains.
It’s really a big problem to find power sockets in main line trains. Especially in long journeys, we have many “vital” problems like charging mobile phones/laptops. Sockets in WCs are not good solutions.
I like the “openable” windows in old trains. Neither of new ones has this kind of windows. This is a critical problem for photographers, because it’s not possible to take good photos if window is in between. It would be nice to keep at least one wagon in train with openable windows. That will make it possible for photographers to take amazing photos where taking it from anywhere else is not possible. Trains will be filled by photographers, and social media with photos from train journeys.
Thanks, once again, for your interesting insight into another aspect of Turkish railways. I would just like to say that I agree with the comments about restaurant ‘service’ on Turkish trains. When I read Paul Theroux’s wonderful book, ‘The Great Railway Bazaar’ and his journey through Turkey in 1973 (and comments from my father-in-law who was a manager with TCDD in Ankara) it seems that eating on some Turkish trains was once wonderful experience, but not any more. I even have a picture, taken in a restaurant car at breakfast which includes a staff member asleep at one of the tables! A wonderful restaurant service can be had on long-distance Swedish and Norwegian trains, for example. Nothing particularly fancy but busy because you can easily dine in and take out. Note to TCDD ‘ change your menu once in a while!!!’ YHT service is also very unimpressive, especially trolley service. No better than a bus. Am I the only one who wants real coffee, which, again, the Scandinavians know a thing or two abouıt. Ditto WiFi, power sockets and windows that you can open.
Many years ago, I used to travel between Istanbul and Ankara regularly using sleepers (Ankara Exress). Delicious dinner, long chats during dinner and afterwards, very deep sleep and breakfast in the morning were milestones of my each travel, which I can never forget.. Despite the speed and some other advantages of high speed trains, I’m really missing to arrive Ankara in 9 hours, but rested and fresh..
I think -and hope- sleepers and restaurants will again be popular in the future, after trains become the main transportation mode in the country..
Greetings from cold Istanbul.
And here is an example how to get use of photography. not only as a railway operator, but also as a country.. http://phototrain.ru/en/