The overnight train service between Istanbul and Sofia will restart soon.
The overnight train giving daily service between Istanbul and Sofia, Sofia Express, which was suspended due to pandemic, will be resumed very soon.
The first statement about train was done by Turkish Minister of Transport in March, telling that Sofia Express and Transasia Express would start soon.
Another statement was done by Bulgarian Ministry of Transport last week, telling that Sofia-Istanbul train service would restart as of 25th of April. According to the statement, first train will depart from Istanbul on 25th April 22:00 and arrive at Sofia following day at 09:35 where first train will depart from Sofia on 26th April 18:30 and arrives at Istanbul following day at 07:00.
In weekly bulletin of European Rail Timetable, same date was announced for resume of Istanbul-Sofia train service, 25th of April. In same news, the start date of Istanbul-Bucharest service, Bosphor Express, was written as 3rd of June.
On the other hand, there’s still no official announcement nor information about Sofia Express neither in BDZ nor in TCDD Tasimacilik websites as of 19th of April. An officer at one station on route of train had told that the train might start on 9th of May.
Sofia Express is giving chance to travellers to get on the train in the evining from Istanbul or Sofia, spend whole night at compartment with berth and arrive at the other city early in the morning. Train departs from Halkali in Istanbul, which is quite far away from city center. However, Halkali is also the departure station of suburban service, Marmaray, by which many regions of Istanbul including city center and Asian side until Gebze are very easy to reach.
Border checks of Sofia Express is being done at train in Bulgarian side and unfortunately at station in Turkey.
Cover photo: Onur Uysal ©