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Summary of Turkish Trains

Turkey’s rail network

Here are the different types of Turkish trains:

High-Speed Trains

Turkey’s high-speed train lines (Yüksek Hızlı Trenler (YHT) are in operation on the route Istanbul – Eskişehir – Ankara, and between Ankara and Konya, and Eskişehir and Konya. Other lines, from Eskişehir to İzmir and from Ankara to Sivas, are under construction. More…)

International Trains

Only one daily train from Istanbul to Europe, the Istanbul – Sofia Express.

Blue Trains

Inter-regional Blue Trains (Mavi Trenler) make fewer stops than traditional expresses. Some haul couchette cars and sleeping cars:

İzmir Mavi Tren

An overnight train between Eskişehir and İzmir (Basmane), hauling Pullman carssleeping cars, and a dining carMore…

Konya Mavi Tren

An overnight train between Konya and İzmir (Basmane), hauling Pullman carscouchette cars and sleeping cars, and a dining carMore…

Express Trains

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 Ekspresi

The daily morning September 6th Express connects Balıkesir and İzmir (Basmane). The southbound morning train originates in Bandırma, departing before the arrival of the first morning ferry from Istanbul. The train then stops in Balıkesir, and continues via Soma and Manisa to İzmir (Basmane), arriving in early afternoon. (Train-and-ferry used to be scheduled to connect İzmir and Istanbul, but this is no longer the case.)

17 Eylül Ekspresi

This daily September 17th Express evening train connectsBalıkesir and İzmir (Basmane). The northbound afternoon train from İzmir (Basmane) continues past Balıkesir to Bandırma, arriving at 21:01 (9:01), after the last ferry to Istanbul has departed. (Train-and-ferry used to be scheduled to connect İzmir and Istanbul, but this is no longer the case.)

Doğu Ekspresi

The daily Eastern Express is an overnight train taking nearly 24 hours to travel from Ankara via KayseriSivas, Erzincan, Elazığ and Erzurum to Kars, hauling compartment cars, Pullman carscouchette cars and sleeping cars, and a dining car.

Ege Ekspresi

The daily Aegean Express connects İzmir (Basmane) and Balıkesir in about 5 hours, hauling Pullman cars.

Erciyes Ekspresi

The daily Aergeus Express connects Kayseri, near Cappadocia, with Adana, taking about 5-3/4 hours to make the run, hauling Pullman coaches.

Fırat Ekspresi

The daily Euphrates Express connects Adana with Elazığ on daytime runs taking under 10 hours, hauling Pullman carsMore…

Güney Kurtalan Ekspresi

The Southern Kurtalan Express travels between AnkaraKayseriSivasMalatyaDiyarbakır, Batman and Kurtalan 5 days per week, taking about 22 hours to make the run, hauling compartment cars, Pullman carscouchette cars and sleeping carsMore…

Karesi Ekspresi

The Karesi Express joins İzmir (Basmane) with Balıkesir daily in a little under 5 hours, hauling Pullman carsMore…

Pamukkale Ekspresi

Connecting Denizli (near Pamukkale) with Eskişehir, the Pamukkale Express allows you to go via high-speed train from IstanbulAnkara or Konya to Eskişehir, then by Pamukkale Express to Denizli—or vice-versa. More…

Toros Ekspresi

The Taurus Express rumbles through the Taurus mountain range joining Adana and Konya, hauling compartment and Pullman carsMore…

Vangölü Ekspresi

The Lake Van Express connects Ankara with KayseriSivasMalatya, Elazığ and Tatvan on the western shore of Lake Van taking about 24 hours, hauling compartment, Pullmancouchettedining and sleeping cars.

Regional Trains

Here are the shorter-distance regional trains (Bölgesel Tren) that you may find useful:

Istanbul – Thrace (Edirne)

Once traveled by the fabled Orient Express connecting Paris and Constantinople, this European route is now better served by bus. There is one daily express train, the Istanbul – Sofia Express, between Istanbul and Europe (via Sofia and Bucharest) which you can use to travel between Istanbul (Halkalı) and Edirne; and one slow (4 hours) local train between Istanbul (Halkalı), Edirne and Kapıkule (the Turkish-Bulgarian border post). In any case, bus service between Istanbul and Edirne and beyond is much faster and more convenient. More…

İzmir – Airport – Selçuk (Ephesus) – Denizli

These regional trains from İzmir‘s Basmane Gar make it easy and inexpensive to travel between İzmirAdnan Menderes AirportSelçuk (for EphesusŞirince and Kuşadası), Aydın (for Tralles), Nazilli (for Aphrodisias) and Denizli (for PamukkaleHierapolis and Laodicea). More…

İzmir – Manisa – Alaşehir – Uşak

Thwo trains run daily from İzmir‘s Basmane 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.

Mersin – Tarsus – Adana – İskenderun Trains

Frequent trains—about 24 per day—run along the eastern Mediterranean coast between these important important historic, commercial cities, taking about an hour for the run between Mersin and Adana; a little over two hours between Adana and İskenderun.

—by Tom Brosnahan


Trains by Departure City

Trains By Train Name

How to Buy Train Tickets

Turkish Trains Route Map

Pullman Car

Couchette Car

Sleeping Car

Restaurant/Dining Car

Train Travel in Turkey

Transport in Turkey

Istanbul Love Bus...the new novel by Tom Brosnahan

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