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When will Istanbul Thesselonike train start?

After TCDD’s new international train services to Sofia and Bucharest, travelers are now wondering when Istanbul-Thessesonike train will start.

This train was called as “Friendship/Filia Train” and had been the most crowded international train of TCDD. The train was suspended by OSE on 13th of February 2011, similar to all other international trains to/from Greece.

As a couple of international train services have started by TCDD this year, there’s a strong expectation about Istanbul-Thesselonike train as well. Although some officers state that the train will start on March 2018, this information is not confirmed by neither OSE nor TCDD.

The train, if starts, is expected to attract many Turkish tourists who are currently making daily/weekend trips by car to north of Greece. There are also many people in both sides of the border who has relatives on the other side. Especially during summer, at weekends and bank holidays, long car queues are seen at border crossing of two countries.

Cover Photo: Onur Uysal ©

3 replies »

  1. Yes, last time I had to take the greek train to Kastanee and walk 8 km to Edirne Sehir … It’s a nice walk across the old brdige on Marica and turkish border guards were so happy to see a foot traveller but not many people may like this idea…

  2. @filip: teşekkür for the great idea having a walk over the border. since i have to make every 90days a trip to greece for extending my istanbul stay, i like to choose once this route.

    but @Onur Uysal: are there any news about opening the direct connection istanbul – saloniki?
    and by the way: your site is great. coming from switzerland i’m a big train fan. your site is very helpful!!! teşekkür.

    • Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you like it. It seems Ose’s willingness is expected. I’m quite sure, it’ll be the most popular international train of Turkey. Do not expect it to start before next summer.


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