Trains will also accompany step-by-step normalization which will start by 1st of March in Turkey.
All trains were suspended last March due to Covid-19. Only high speed train services restarted afterwards in May with some restrictions. On 1st of March, normalization will start in Turkey based on regional case ratios. Train services will also follow these steps.
First step: Full capacity HSTs
First step in normalization will be shifting to full capacity in high speed trains. Today, tickets for 1st of March are on sale in online ticketing system and all seats can now be reserved. Since last May, only one of the two seats were on sale.
Next step is expected to be the ticketing period. HST tickets used to be on sale 15 days prior to departure. This period was decreased to 5 days by last May. This may prolong to 15 days soon.
Number of departures may increase
Due to pandemic, number of HST services were decreased last year. With normalization the demand is expected to increase. HST seats have been almost sold out during pandemic due to advantages like travel time, price and pandemic precautions. If demand exceeds full capacity of current services, the number of departures may be increased to before-pandemic level, even more with recently-received Velaro sets.
No official announcement about other trains
International, main line and regional train services have been suspended for last one year. In 2019, these trains had carried 18 million passengers. Some of them were main travel modal in their routes like Adana-Mersin, Zonguldak-Karabuk, Izmir-Denizli, Izmir-Odemis. Trains like Dogu Express, Vangolu Express were quite popular and was supporting also tourism. There’s no official statement about these trains. However, in parallel to normalization, considering regional status of pandemic, trains are expected to start step by step.
Cover photo: Steve Hobson ©