Turkey's rail network
Here are the different types
of Turkish trains:
train lines (Yüksek
Hızlı Trenler (YHT) are in operation on the route Istanbul - Eskişehir
- Ankara, and between Ankara and Konya. Other lines are
under construction. More...)
Only one daily train from Istanbul to Europe, the Istanbul - Sofia Express.
Inter-regional Blue Trains (Mavi
Trenler) make fewer
stops than traditional expresses. Some haul couchette cars and sleeping
An overnight train between Ankara and İzmir (Alsancak), hauling Pullman cars, sleeping
cars, and a dining car. More...
An overnight train between Konya and İzmir (Alsancak) , hauling Pullman cars, couchette cars and sleeping
cars, and a dining car. More...
Traditional (not high-speed) long-distance trains connecting larger cities and towns at slow speeds. The overnight trains have either couchette cars or sleeping
cars, or both:
6 Eylül/17 Eylül Ekspresi
Two daily trains connecting İzmir (Alsancak) via Balıkesir and the fast ferryboat docks at Bandırma, the September 6th and September 17th Expresses haul Pullman cars on the 6-hour journey.
The Eastern Express is an overnight train taking more than 24 hours to travel from Ankara via Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan, Elazığ and Erzurum to Kars, hauling compartment cars, Pullman cars, couchette cars and sleeping
cars, and a dining car.
The Aergeus Express connects Kayseri, near Cappadocia, with Adana, taking about 5-3/4 hours to make the run, hauling Pullman coaches.
The Euphrates Express connects Adana with Elazığ on daytime runs taking about 11 hours, hauling Pullman cars. More...
Güney Kurtalan Ekspresi
The Southern Express travels between Ankara, Kayseri, Sivas, Malatya, Diyarbakır, Batman and Kurtalan 5 days per week, taking about 25-1/2 hours to make the run, hauling compartment cars, Pullman cars, couchette cars and sleeping
The Karesi Express joins İzmir (Alsancak) with Balıkesir daily in a little over 4 hours, hauling Pullman cars. More...
Connecting Denizli (near Pamukkale) with Eskişehir, the Pamukkale Express allows you to go via high-speed train from Istanbul, Ankara or Konya to Eskişehir, then by Pamukkale Express to Denizli—or vice-versa. More...
The Taurus Express rumbles through the Taurus mountain range joining Adana and Konya, hauling compartment and Pullman cars. More...
The Lake Van Express connects Ankara with Kayseri, Sivas, Malatya, Elazığ and Tatvan on the western shore of Lake Van taking over 27 hours, hauling compartment, Pullman, couchette and sleeping
Here are the shorter-distance regional trains (Bölgesel
Tren) that you may find useful:
Once traveled by the fabled Orient
Express connecting Paris and
Constantinople, this European route
is now better served
Athough there is one daily train
between Istanbul and Europe (via Sofia and Bucharest),
the first part of the journey is by bus as the rail line is being modernized. In any case, bus
service between Istanbul and Edirne and beyond
is much faster and more convenient. More...
These regional trains from İzmir's Basmane Gar make it easy and inexpensive to travel between İzmir, Adnan Menderes Airport, Selçuk (for Ephesus, Şirince and Kuşadası), Aydın (for Tralles), Nazilli (for Aphrodisias) and Denizli (for Pamukkale, Hierapolis and Laodicea). More...
These trains run daily from İzmir's Alsancak Gar to Manisa (Magnesia), Sart (Sardis), Alaşehir (ancient Philadelphia) and the carpet-making center of Uşak, but—as usual—they take much longer than the bus.
Frequent trains—about 28 per day—run along the eastern Mediterranean coast between these three important historic, commercial cities, taking 45 to 65 minutes for the run between Mersin and Adana.
—by Tom Brosnahan