What professionals and travellers say?

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Iain Taylor

Another slight problem with the timetable information on the TCDD website as regards regional trains is that, for example, if I wanted to check the times of trains from Basmane to Torbali, I would need to look at 5 different files to get the whole picture: Basmane – Denizli. Basmane – Nazilli; Basmane – Soke; Basmane – Tire and Basmane – Odemis. If I want to make the short journey from Aydin to Nazilli, I still need to check 4 files. From the point of view of a traveller, I don’t see the point in listing the Basmane – Nazilli services separately from Basmane – Denizli, although it maybe suits administrators.

Gomme Iskender

Also, I honestly think that a comfortable long distance train İstanbul – Budapest (or even Vienna) would attract a decent number of passengers. Now, the connection at Sofia is a disaster and Serbian tracks and trains are, unfortunately, in extremely bad condition. Romanian cars are not that much better and the connection in Bucureşti Nord (or Videle) is just as bad as in Sofia. The horrible connections and cars even put me off, and I’m a very stubborn train traveller. This summer again, I missed my connection at Sofia forcing me to spend a day there.

Jeff Hawken

The stated “cost” of running any given passenger service is very susceptible to political interference. That is a general comment, not one specifically aimed at Turkey. So if the aim is to make the infrastructure company “profitable”, then the track access charges will increase, causing fares increases, and making the train operations unprofitable. Conversely, if the imperative is to maintain the level of fares, then the infrastructure company will become unprofitable. The only thing I am certain about is that the existing bloated TCDD Tasimacilik train operation will need to shed vast numbers of its staff in order to become profitable, or to be able to compete with private operators. That could become very unpopular indeed.