Railway Events

What will happen in 2023?

While everybody in Turkey is focused on the upcoming elections, several rail system projects are set to come to fruition in 2023.

It is expected that several rail projects will be opened in 2023. The expected openings for 2023, some of which unfortunately included in our “What will happen in 2022?” post, are as follows:

Sivas HST countdowns

The latest official statement on the Ankara-Sivas high-speed train line is that service will begin in April 2023. “The travel time between Ankara and Sivas will be reduced to 2 hours” according to statement, which shows that the entire line, including the Ankara-Kırıkkale section, will be put into service.

New stations for Mecidiyeköy-Mahmutbey

The Fulya and Yıldız stations on the Kabataş-Mecidiyeköy section of the Kabataş-Mecidiyeköy-Mahmutbey metro, will be one of the first openings of the year. The remaining two stations, connecting metro to ferries, buses, tram, funicular and one of the most crowded points of Istanbul, have been delayed due to archaeological works at Besiktas and need some more time.

Lines of Asian side to be connected

The Bostancı-Dudullu-Parseller metro, which will be opened in the first days of the year, is the first metro that will serve on the north-south axis, connecting the three parallel rail lines on the Asian side of Istanbul. The line will also support the sea lines via Bostancı Pier. The new metro will significantly reduce the number of minibuses, which are currently one of the main transportation modes on the route.

İstanbul Airport metro

Another metro project that is expected to open in the first weeks of the year is the Istanbul Airport metro. Certification work continues and it will start service as soon as it is completed. Gayrettepe Station will be excluded from service on the opening, to be completed within a couple of months.

Kayasehir extension to be completed

The M3 Kirazlı-Başakşehir line in Istanbul is being extended to Çam and Sakura City Hospital and Kayaşehir. The project, undertaken by the Ministry of Transportation, is expected to be opened in the first months of the year.

Haliç Tram to reach Eminönü

After being put into service between Cibali and Alibeykoy in 2021, works for the remaining Eminönü-Cibali part will come to end by late 2023. When this last phase is completed, the tram will also be integrated with marine lines in addition to the T1 tram line and M2 metro line.

Sirkeci again

The Sirkeci project which reconnects train station with national rail network where a tram service will run between until Kazlıçeşme will be completed in 2023. When completed, international train services which currently depart from Halkalı and special tour trains like the Orient Express are expected to depart from Sirkeci.

Three more metro projects

Work on three metro lines in Istanbul has progressed significantly, opening is planned for all in 2023, at least start of test runs may be expected:

  • Remaining part of the Ataköy-İkitelli metro
  • Bakırköy-Kirazlı metro
  • The first three stations of Çekmeköy-Sultanbeyli metro extension

3rd tram for İzmir

Another tram service will be added to two existing in Izmir. Trams have become very popular in a short time thanks to their well integration with other rail systems. The 11 km Çiğli tram will begin service in March 2023.

Metro extends to Narlidere

The Fahrettin Altay-Narlıdere metro is one of two rail system projects that will open in İzmir in 2023. With the addition of the 7 km line, the metro network in Izmir will reach 27 km.

First phase of Gebze Metro

The first phase of Gebze metro, undertaken by the Ministry of Transportation, will open in May. This will connect Gebze city center and OSB to Gebze train station, which is used by Marmaray, YHT and Adapazarı trains.

Akçaray reaches Kurucesme

The Izmit tramway will reach Kuruçeşme by adding a westward stop to Akçaray.

New tram for Kayseri

Test runs continue on the Anafartalar-Mobilyakent tram in Kayseri, which connects the city hospital, bus station, HST station and Mobilya Kent to the existing tram network. Opening is planned for the beginning of 2023.

Hopes and question marks about many others

There are many other projects where there’s some hope but with a lot of question marks:

  • The world famous Haydarpaşa Station, which is expected to become the departure point for trains from Asian side of İstanbul, and which will become even more exciting with open archeological site next to it
  • The Samsun-Sivas train service, not start of which was disappointing though cargo and regional trains start working on that strech
  • The Transasia Express and Van-Tebriz/Tehran trains
  • The “Emek-YHT Station-City Hospital” light rail line in Bursa, which will extend city’s rail network to the city hospital
  • The Akçaray “City Hospital” line, which had been canceled twice and started again for the third time
  • The first private passenger train, the Cappadocia Express, which was expected to start in 2022
  • The “national suburban sets” which be the used at Gaziray for the first time
  • The Baku-Ankara sleeper train, start date of which had become a mystery
  • The Karaelmas, Pamukkale, Vangölü, and Diyarbakır touristic trains

6 replies »

  1. I’m still looking forward to Ankara to Baku . That nice new Swiss built train sitting empty for more than two years ………

  2. Ciao Onur,

    Thank you for everything.

    Wish you only the best for the next year



  3. Thank you Onur, fantastic information as always. Also looking forward to Ankara to Baku. Happy New Year to you.

  4. sorry moet zijn 2023 🙂 wanneer kan je de auto trein 2032 Villach-Edirne weer boeken


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