981 - Istanbul train - StevePassenger

Passenger trains: Full of surprises


It becomes really hard to follow the changes done and announced about passenger train services this summer.

Here below are highlights of recent developments:

First touristic train gone well, others may start

The first important change about passenger trains this year was the Touristic Dogu Express. Train had started in May. Though it’s not “sold out” anymore, discussions ended. Passengers are now able to see more attraction points of East during travel. As new train is running “not bad”, new trains are announced to start soon. Most possible ones are Diyarbakir and Vangolu expresses. Start dates are not announced yet.

Plovdiv train gone with the wind

Plovdiv-Edirne train was a real surprise in June. It was announced a few days before departure. Run only 2 times and service suspended. Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ), the operator of the train, was criticized for not giving enough time.

Something will happen about Iran, but what?

870 - Iran train - Vitali

Tabriz-Van service had started recently. In the beginning of this week it was announced that train’s route is extended as Tehran-Van. However no further details could be seen in websites of RAI and TCDDT, thus the train on Monday seems to be a trial run.

Transasia Express, Tehran-Ankara train, is also on the agenda. At the ceremony of arrival of train at Van, it was announced that Transasia Express would start very soon. Expected time of departure of first train is late July.

Baku train to depart this summer

Baku-Ankara train is another train which travellers are looking forward to. A common meeting will be held in forthcoming days, where all details about the service will be finalized. The train service is expected to start in August.

Istanbul-Ankara on sleeper may come true

In the list of subsidized train services published early this week, there was an interesting one: Bogazici Express. Though the route was written as Arifiye-Ankara, it’s more likely to run between Istanbul and Ankara. It’s expected to be an overnight train, but is not clear if there’ll be sleepers. If there’s, it will be possible to get on train at night from Istanbul, have a very good sleep and attend to a meeting at Ankara in the morning.

711 - İstanbul Sofya Treni - Onur

Samsun trains are waiting line to be completed

Samsun-Kalin line was expected to open last year, but has not been completed yet. When opened, it’ll host 3 new trains: Samsun-Sivas, Samsun-Amasya and Amasya-Havza. The opening may delay.

Cukurova, 4 Eylul, Goller: May be only on paper

In the subsidized trains list, there were new main line trains: Cukurova Express, 4 Eylul Mavi and Goller Express. Early to get excited, since all these three were also in this list last year, but not started. All are told to wait for the completion of electrification and signalization. It will be surprising to see start of these trains this year.

No new HST this year

There are two new HST train services in the subsidized trains list: Ankara-Sivas and Istanbul-Sivas. However construction still continues, there’s no possibility to start Sivas HSTs this year. Konya-Karaman train is listed as regional train, not HST, where electrification and signalization works continue. Thus traveling from Istanbul and Ankara to Karaman on HST trains will wait next year.

Cover photo: Steve Hobson ©

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