The closing time of Halkalı is approaching.. Now, the questions is this: Which will replace Halkalı, Çerkezköy or Derince?
Asian and European side of Turkey is disconnected for more than a year by rail. And now it’s about to connect again..
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.
What has been achieved with the IZBAN system is impressive, but the system is plagued by a problem common to many urban systems: long journeys (Aliağı to Alsancak, for example) are tedious with the many stops. This reminds me of what it is like travelling from Heathrow Airport to central London on the Piccadilly Line. There needs to be consideration for the provision of express/limited stop services and this will certainly be necessary to encourage tourists to use the IZBAN for places such as Selçuk and Bergama. The IZBAN is also a way to access Foca (combined with ESHOT bus services) but would be more attractive with an express service.
I could see one reason why tourists would not use the Bosphors Express and that is the time spent crossing, entering and departing borders as well as when this takes place, in the early hours of the morning. Perhaps a daylight train leaving from the old station in Istanbul would be an incentive for tourists rather than travelling 25 Km to start the journey.