Rail Freight

New terminals for intermodal traffic to Europe

With regular container train service to Szolnok, Tekirdag appears to be a strong alternative for intermodal traffic between Turkey and Europe.

After using mainly Halkali and partially Cerkezkoy for decades, intermodal traffic to Europe has started enriching departure points by adding new terminals mainly operated by private companies. Here are the intermodal terminals in European side:


Halkali, hosting most of the intermodal train traffic to Europe, is one of the biggest and busiest terminals in Turkey. Over 10 trains depart every week to Europe. Terminal services are given by state operator, TCDD. The rail connection to border is single track, and Halkali-Cerkezkoy part is still not signalized. Both terminal and railway have reached to their capacity. The permanent solution will be the new high speed line, double track Halkali-Cerkezkoy-Kapikule railway, which is under construction and will be used also by freight trains. The surrounding of terminal has become residential area, When metro connection is completed, Marmaray and HST trains will increase and Halkali may become a very busy passenger station.


Despite limited space, terminal has been giving good service to surrounding industrial sites. Pimk’s trailer trains had departed from Cerkezkoy for a long time. The container yard cannot be used due to construction works of Istanbul-Kapikule high speed line for a long time. When completed, Cerkezkoy will even be more attractive with strong and fast rail connection to Europe.


Train traffic to Tekirdag was expected to go down due to end of rail ferry service. On the contrary, traffic has increased after AsyaPort’s decision of creating rail links and opening of Medlog terminal. After Plovdiv (Bulgaria), terminal has now new train service to Szolnok (Hungary). Asyaport has target to become a strong hub with rail services to Southeast Europe.


Medlog had redesigned the station as terminal. The terminal was built to connect the European side of Istanbul, an important industrial region for exports to Europe, to AsyaPort. The future of terminal will be determined by its connectivity to new Halkali-Kapikule railway under construction.


Pimk, a leading truck company in this region, had shifted its truck traffic to trailer trains between Cerkezkoy and Plovdiv, where traction is organized by Pimk’s own locomotive in Bulgaria. Due to construction works in Cerkezkoy, Pimk invested in Catalca. Catalca is very close to new customs moved from Halkali and 40 km away from Ambarli. Similar to Omerli, it’s very important how this terminal will be connected to new line to Europe.


Velimese is a small station right after Cerkezkoy. It was prepared as terminal by TCDD, when Halkali was closed, as an alternative together with Cerkezkoy, but has never been used. Now, as Medlog focuses on European side, the company decided to use this terminal for its AsyaPort traffic.

Cover photo: Medlog ©


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