733 - Sirkeci İstasyonu - Steve

HSTs will arrive Halkali, Europe trains will arrive Sirkeci


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 ©

Written by Onur Uysal

Railway consultant. Owner of RT Media & Consultancy. Founder and editor of Rail Turkey.

2 comments

  1. Thank yoy for this update. All very good news this is. I’m happy to read this, altough that I fear that the HST stopping at the underground Sirkeci and/or Üsküdar stations would be very bad for Marmaray punctuality.

    Also, I honestly think that a comfortable long distance train İstanbul – Budapest (or even Vienna) would attract a decent number of passengers. Now, the connection at Sofia is a disaster and Serbian tracks and trains are, unfortunately, in extremely bad condition. Romanian cars are not that much better and the connection in Bucureşti Nord (or Videle) is just as bad as in Sofia. The horrible connections and cars even put me off, and I’m a very stubborn train traveller. This summer again, I missed my connection at Sofia forcing me to spend a day there.

    I think the price for the use of the tracks in Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary must still be affordable, and maybe it would be possible to work together in a joint opperation, with БДЖ, CFR, MÁV and maybe even NightJet ? A train using good and clean turkish sleeping and couchette cars, and idealy a restaurant car (with the old catering) as well, leaving Sirkeci in the morning, reaching Romania in the evening and Budapest in the afternoon the second day could prove popular I think. (via Bucureşti or faster via Craïova) All border control would be by daylight and with a bit of good will from border police could be joined together ? Also no stopping at all the little stations in Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, only the bigger towns like before…

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