Turkey’s high-speed trains (Yüksek Hızlı Tren, or YHT) currently run daily on these routes:
The trains feature four classes of service, Economy, Economy Plus, Business, and Business Plus, as well as a Cafeteria car. The Plus designation means you pay an extra TL15 and receive breakfast on morning trains and dinner on evening trains.
Train fares are usually lower than the airlines, and comfortis higher on the train. Ticket sales begin 15 days before the train’s date of departure.
The fastest Istanbul (Pendik) – Ankara high-speed trains make the journey on the 533-km (331-mile) Istanbul-Ankara route in about 3-3/4 hours, challenging the airlines on such rapid transport between Turkey’s two largest cities. Train fareis about TL70 one-way/single for adults, half price for children from 1 to 12 years of age, free for infants.
|Aboard the YHT to Eskişehir…|
In Istanbul, high-speed trains to Eskişehir and Ankara currently originate not at historic Haydarpaşa Gar, but at Pendik, a station about 35 km east of Haydarpaşa near Sabiha Gökçen Airport. Travelers can reach Pendik by Metro Line M4 from Kadıköy or Ayrılık Çeşmesi (Marmaray) to Kartal, then İETT Bus 251 or taxi to the Pendik YHT train station. More…
Eventually the high-speed trains will use the Söğütlüçeşme station, 2 km (1.25 miles) east of historic Haydarpaşa Station, and will also connect to the regional Marmaray train line to simplify passage under the Bosphorus to the European shore.
What Happens to Haydarpaşa Station?
In Ankara, a new station for the high-speed train service is being built adjoining Ankara’s historic station (Ankara Gar).
Turkey’s High-Speed Trains
During the past dozen years, Turkish State Railways has invested TL30 billion (about US$16 billion) to build over 1000 km (621 miles) of new railroad. The goal is to invest a total of US$45 billion to create 10,000 km (6,214 miles) of high-speed rail and 4,000 km (2,486 miles) of new conventional rail by the year 2023 (the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic).
Turkey’s ambitious high-speed train project foresees additional fast train lines between Istanbul, Bursa, İzmir and Antalya, and from Ankara east to Sivas and Erzurum, connecting 15 major cities in provinces that are home to nearly half of the country’s 76 million citizens; but these lines will take several more years to develop.
—by Tom Brosnahan
|Turkish Railways Route Map|