Turkish State Railways (TCDD), celebrated its 160th anniversary with a cocktail at Innotrans.
TCDD was founded as a state railways in 1927. However, Anatolia was first introduced with railway with giving English company (Ottoman Railway Company – ORC) privilege to construct and operate Izmir-Aydin railway. This date is taken as anniversary date by TCDD.
Here’s the milestones in Ottoman period of this 160-years-long history:
1851 – First railway constuction within Ottoman borders started between Alexandria and Cairo (211 km) by an English company.
1856 – The privilege of first railway in Anatolia, Izmir-Aydin railway, was given to English company (Ottoman Railway Company – ORC) on 23rd of September 1856. Company also got the right to use coal, stone and forest resources within 30 miles of each side of railway.
1857 – The new company “Ottoman Railway from Izmir to Aydin” took over the privilege and started construction.
1858 – Alsancak station opened.
First railway at Anatolia
1860 – First section of Izmir-Aydın railway opened and first train departed.
1866 – Another railway, Izmir-Turgutlu was opened after less than two years of work by English company (Smyrna-Cassaba Railway Company). Izmir-Aydin railway also opened this year. THe camel rates dramatically dropped after railway opening from 300 cent to 100 cent.
First suburban train
1870 – First suburban train of Anatolia started on Sirinyer-Buca railway at Izmir.
1871 – Passenger transportation started on first section (Yedikule-Kucukcekmece) of Rumelia Railways which will connect Istanbul to Europe when completed. Privilege owned by Baron Hirsch.
1872 – First section (Haydarpasa-Tuzla) of Istanbul-Izmit railway which was planned to extend to Bagdad was completed. Ottoman government constructed the railway itself.
By – File:2. Abdülhamit devri demiryolları.JPG, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20431876
Istanbul connected to Izmit and Edirne
1873 – Haydarpasa-Izmit and Istanbul-Edirne railways commissioned.
1874 – The narrow gauge Mudanya-Bursa railway was commissioned by Ottoman government. The line afterwards taken over by Chemin de Fer Moudania Brousse.
1883 – Mersin-Tarsus-Adana railway construction started. Privilege by Turkish-English-French company (Mersin-Tarsus-Adana Railway – MTA).
1886 – Mersin-Tarsus-Adana railway commissioned.
Orient Express arrived Istanbul
1888 – Istanbul-Europe railway connection commissioned. Orient Express arrived Istanbul.
1890 – Sirkeci station opened.
1893 – Extension of Haydarpasa-Izmit railway to Ankara via Adapazari-Eskisehir-Polatli started. Privilege given to Anatolia Ottoman Railway Company owned by Deutsche Bank.
1894 – Eskisehir-Kutahya section of Eskisehir-Konya railway opened by Anatolia Ottoman Railway Company.
1896 – Eskisehir-Konya railway completed. Travel time by rail from Istanbul to Konya fallen to 2 days.
1900 – Construction started on Hedjaz Railways (Damascus-Medina and Basra-Jaruselam railways) by Ottoman government.
Anatolia connected to Bagdad
1902 – Agreement inked with Anatolia Ottoman Railway Company to connect Konya to Basra via Adana-Mosul-Bagdad (2467 km). The privilege then taken over by Chemins de Fer Imperial Ottomans de Bagdad.
1908 – Damascus-Medina section of Hedjaz Railways commissioned.
1912 – Construction of Varda bridge completed.
1918 – The 356-km-long railway at Eastern Anatolia constructed by Russians was left to Turkey. By Armistice of Mudros, the power on railways was taken by Allies of World War I.
- Transportation in Ottoman, Camlica. Editors: Prof. Dr. Vahdettin Engin, Ahmet Uçar, Osman Doğan
- Wikipedia: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Devlet Demiryolları (Turkish State Railways)
- 160th Anniversary of Turkish Railways. Published by Transportation Ministry and TCDD.
Cover Photo: TCDD