TCDD is getting prepared to run HST service till Halkali and Haydarpasa, and trains to Europe from Sirkeci next year.
As Marmaray works speeded up and is expected to be completed in last quarter of next year, the plans about passenger trains to/from Istanbul unveiled.
Haydarpasa meet HSTs
Currently, all high speed trains depart from Pendik station, 35 km east of Istanbul city center. As Marmaray works completed, high speed trains will arrive Haydarpasa station at Asian side, as announced before.
Ankara and Konya HSTs from Halkali
Surprisingly, it’s also announced that some of the high speed train services will depart from Halkali via Marmaray tunnel. There is already a plan to construct a new high speed line via 3rd bridge connecting Halkali, 3rd airport to Kosekoy. However, Halkali will meet high speed trains long before that line is completed.
Sofia and Bucharest trains to arrive Sirkeci
Many travelers were wondering if the European trains would start departing from city center again as it was years ago. Although it will be easy to reach to Halkali by Marmaray after opening, it would be good to get on train from city center. TCDD plans to depart all European trains from Sirkeci after Marmaray project is completed.
Will Orient Express run again?
Sirkeci used to be the departure point for all European trains to Istanbul. Famous trains like Orient Express arrived Sirkeci station. After opening of Sirkeci station, train tours are expected to arrive Istanbul, like Danube Express a few years ago.
Where about domestic trains?
It’s not yet declared if Istanbul-Cerkezkoy and Istanbul-Kapikule trains depart from Sirkeci and Istanbul-Adapazari from Haydarpasa, but that’s also expected to happen. Those trains used to be crowded once, but runs with low capacity nowadays. As they start to depart from city center, more passengers will start using those trains.
Another question is the overnight trains from Istanbul. There used to be many overnight trains from Istanbul, which may not be so popular due to HSTs. However, an overnight train to east, maybe Dogu Express to Kars, will surely attract attention.
Cover Photo: Steve Hobson ©