First private passenger train of Turkey announced: Cappadocia Express.
Investment Office of Turkey, HIS Turkey and Sun Group have announced first private passenger train of Turkey. At press conference held today, it’s announced that the first private passenger train operator had been licenced in December 2020 and first passenger service will be the luxury tour train between Istanbul and Cappadocia.
The first passenger train operator of Turkey is founded by HIS Global, Japan based global travel operator and Sun Group, having completed several rolling stock supply and railway signalization projects in Turkish cities. Cappadocia Express will depart from Istanbul. The new train operator plans to add new routes to its portfolio.
Cappadocia is one of the most popular touristic destination in Turkey hosting about 4 million visitors every year. It’s been the top destination for visitors coming to Turkey from Japan, China and South Korea. Over 500 thousand tourists visited Cappadocia from these 3 countries in 2019. First private operator aims 200 thousand passengers annually.
For getting passenger train operator license, a company has to have (buy or rent) either 2 locos and 6 coaches or 2 multiple units. Company will start with an investment of € 40 mn.
Train tours are being organized with luxury sleepers. Train calls at predetermined destinations and excursions organized for passengers. Some of the famous examples from the world are Trans Siberian Express (Russia), Rovos and The Blue Train (South Africa), Maharaja Express and Deccan Odyssey (India).
Cappadocia Express will be the first private tour train running regularly on Turkish rail network. Two private train tours have been organized before, but none could be regular: Danube Express, departing from Hungary, crossingTurkey, reaching Iran and Turkey-Iran tour organized by Lernidee. TCDD Tasimacilik had organized Touristic Dogu Express, a tour version of popular sleeper service, Dogu Express.
Cover photo: Vitali ©
It would be a wonderful beginning if the train could use the zero carbon, silent, hydrail rolling stock from Alstom (Coradia iLint) or Siemens (Mireo H2). Several years ago Istanbul hosted an International Hydrail Conference. While I attended, my wife enjoyed a trip to Cappadocia. About 30 countries have begun to transition from diesel to hydrail. Germany and China have the first factories.
Hopefully Turkey government will launch a train from Istanbul to Cappadocia for the public passenger.