876 - Van Ferry - Van Türkiye

Van Lake unlocked


The second rail ferry has started service at Van Lake. Her name is Idris-i Bitlis.

The old, frequently broken, low capacity ferries were replaced with two brand new, high-capacity ferries, first at the beginning of this year and second very recently.

New ferries have 4 lines, each 130 mt long. Thus, each can carry one block train in each trip. 24 Sg type 4ax platform wagons or 32 tank wagons can be carried by these new ferries. Each has a capacity of 4000 tons and can travel between Van and Tatvan in 3.5 hours.

Old ferries were being used until this year. There were 3 ferries, each has a capacity of 500 tons and can carry upto 9-12 wagons. The travel time was 5 hours. They were frequently broken causing long delays on Iran rail traffic.

As the new ferries started, the continuity has now been ensured. On the other hand, rail traffic to Iran is now suffering from heavy competition of Iranian trucks. As the sanctions are again on action, Iranian trucks now suffer from low demand and decreased the prices. Thus, most of the rail traffic between two countries now shifted to road.

Due to this, rather than long queues of wagons waiting for ferry at ports, the ferries seem to wait for the wagons now.

Cover Photo: Van Türkiye ©

Written by Onur Uysal

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

2 comments

  1. Another excellent update. Tesekürler !
    I imagine that with the new boats there are no plans for building a connecting piece of railway alongside the lake ?
    Also would TCDD tasimacilik not consider putting the transasya ekspres itself (ifnit comes back?) on the boats now that they have extra capacity ? It would offer more comfort too to have a sleeping car on the Iranian side in stead of the rundown couchettes of Iranian railways…

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