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Sven Wesenberg

I visited Istanbul in march 2015 and march 2017. Using the line between Ayrılıkçeşmesi and Yenikapı several times I’m very impressed with the system. Spacious trains, clean stations and cars and very affordable with the Istanbul kart. About me: tram driver from Munich/Germany, discovering urban and suburban railway systems around the world.

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.

Tom

Why are there so few passengers on the Sofia/Bucarest-Halkali Istanbul route ? Well, I took the Bucarest Halkali sleeper last month, but only very few people know it exists. The DB or SBB online timetable show all the relations with train changes (3 train changes for the Bucarest Halkali train) but they don’t mention anything about direct carriages (…) – If they would update their website info, or if TCDD would tell them to do, then they would stand a chance to attract more travellers (apart from the rail enthusiasts, the Interrail travellers …)