Turkey - Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services
TCDD has not published a timetable for many years and this list is based on the public timetables contained in the TCDD website as at December 2019. Standard abbreviations are explained in General Information. In the absence of timetable table numbers, each line's TCDD Bölge (administrative/operational region) is given, namely: 1 Istanbul (Haydarpaşa), both European and Asian Turkey; 2 Ankara; 3 Izmir (Alsancak); 4 Sivas; 5 Malatya; 6 Adana and 7 Afyonkarahisar.
The TCDD website is sometimes not updated to represent the actual situation. Trains may remain on the site when they have been cancelled, curtailed or amended. Prospective passengers should check carefully any notes (which are in Turkish only) relating to trains. In rural areas and on branch lines TCDD may still operate mixed trains (karma). These trains are subject to alteration without prior notice, frequently on an ad-hoc basis, and arrival times may vary substantially from booked times. No reliance should be placed on the timings or days of operation of these trains, unless checked locally.
Map references for each route entry are given in parentheses ( ). References prefixed "ERA-E" refer to the European Railway Atlas (All-Europe Edition) by M.G. Ball. The European Railway Atlas (Regional Series) by M.G. Ball does not cover Turkey.
As at November 2020, only some high speed trains (YHT - Yüksek Hızlı trenler) are operating.
Therefore no 2021 updates will be made to this page until normal train services resume.
Polatli avoiding line: Km.456+029 HZ – Km 5+691 HZ
[Bölge 2] (ERA–E 112C4) TR20/1
This west <==> south curve south west of Polatli connects the Eskişehir (- İstanbul) and Konya high speed lines. It is used by high speed services (Yüksek Hizli Tren) between İstanbul and Konya.
(Ankara –) Sincan – Polatli – Eskişehir – Esentepe (– İstanbul)
[Bölge 2] (ERA–E 112C4) TR20/2
There are two largely parallel lines between Sincan and Esentepe, about 30 km south of Arifiye: the original 'classic' single track Ankara – İstanbul main line and the Ankara - Eskişehir - Arifiye high speed line. The only trains using the 'classic' line are local services between Ankara and Polatli, plus the following long distance trains.
|22003 Boğaziçi Ekspresi||08:15 Ankara - Arifiye|
|22006 İzmir Mavi||19:00 Ankara - İzmir Basmane|
|22001 Ankara Ekspresi||22:00 Ankara - İstanbul (Halkali)|
|32005 İzmir Mavi||İzmir Basmane - 05:35 Eskişehir - Ankara|
|12004 Boğaziçi Ekspresi||15:30 Arifiye - Ankara|
|12002 Ankara Ekspresi||22:00 İstanbul (Halkali) - Ankara|
Note that the İzmir services use the 'classic' line between Eskişehir and Ankara only.
[Bölge 7] (ERA–E 112B4) TR20/3
All trains between Eskişehir and Afyon run via Kütahya, using the north <=> west and west <=> south curves of the triangle and calling at Alayunt Müselles when traversing the latter curve. The north <=> south curve thus has no service. Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.
[Bölge 7] (ERA–E 112B4, not shown) TR20/4
In order to avoid reversing, locomotive hauled trains between Eskişehir and Kütahya which either continue to Afyon or terminate at Kütahya run via this loop line which diverges to the north, east of Kütahya, enabling them to approach the station from the west. It is always used prior to arrival at Kütahya.
Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.
|72014 Pamukkale Ekspresi||Eskişehir - 08:37 Alayunt - Denizli|
|72013 Pamukkale Ekspresi||Denizli - 16:43 Alayunt Müselles - Eskişehir|
Note that the local trains 72601 - 72608 are at present worked by units or railbuses, so reverse at Kütahya and do not use the loop.
[Bölge 7] (ERA–E 112B3, not shown) TR20/5
The line from Afyon divides into a balloon loop north of Karakuyu, giving two connections into Karakuyu station. One loop runs into the east end and can be used by trains between Afyon and Izmir via Goncali in order to avoid reversal. The other runs into the west end and can be used by trains between Afyon and Isparta to avoid reversal; however there are no longer such passenger services.
Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.
Based on their timings, the following trains must use the east end loop:
|72014 Pamukkale Ekspresi||Eskişehir - 12:24 Ekinova - Denizli|
|72013 Pamukkale Ekspresi||Denizli - 12:55 Karakuyu - Eskişehir|
[Bölge 7] (ERA–E 112B3, not shown) TR20/6
Afyonkarahisar Ali Çetinkaya station (abbreviated hereafter to Afyon) is equipped with a loop line which leaves the station in a south-easterly direction and turns to the north-east, joining the Eskişehir line. This enables trains between Eskişehir and either of the routes to Izmir (via Uşak or via Karakuyu) to avoid reversal.
Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.
The loop appears to be used on departure from Afyon.
|72014 Pamukkale Ekspresi||Eskişehir - 10:45 Afyon A.Çetinkaya - Denizli|
|72013 Pamukkale Ekspresi||Denizli - 15:03 Afyon A.Çetinkaya - Eskişehir|
[Bölge 7] (ERA–E 112B3) TR20/7
There is a triangle south of Goncali station whose usage is as follows:
north - west curve (Goncali – Goncali Müselles)
Trains between Izmir/Söke and Denizli, plus
|72014 Pamukkale Ekspresi||Eskişehir - 15:19 Goncali - Denizli. The train reverses at Goncalı|
north - south curve (Goncali – Bozkurt (– Çardak))
|72014 Pamukkale Ekspresi||Eskişehir - 14:43 Kaklık - Denizli|
south – west curve ((Çardak –) Bozkurt – Goncali Müselles)
|32015 Göller Ekspresi||İzmir Basmane - 03:18 Denizli – Isparta|
|72013 Pamukkale Ekspresi||10:15 Denizli - Eskişehir|
|72016 Göller Ekspresi||Isparta - 23:59 Bozkurt – İzmir Basmane|
Note: Goncali Müselles is a basic request halt on the avoiding line. There is no platform or station infrastructure here.
Malatya avoiding line: Sitmapinar – Km 247.8
[Bölge 5] (ERA–E 113A3) TR20/09A
This north <=> west curve links the lines from Sivas and Adana.
When there is engineering work between Elazığ and Tatvan, the Vangölü Ekspresi from Ankara to Tatvan is terminated at Elazığ. The stock needs to be turned but there is no facility at or near Elazig to facilitate this. The train therefore runs via the Malatya avoiding line and propels into the station. The locomotive has a cab at only one end, so it runs back light engine round all three sides of the triangle and then attaches to what is now the front of the train, before continuing to Elaziğ. Note that this applies only on the outward run from Ankara to Malatya.
Elazığ – Tatvan Gar – Tatvan İskele [Tatvan Pier]
[Bölge 5] (ERA–E 113B3-B4) TR20/10
Tatvan Gar is a terminus. Passenger trains continuing to Tatvan İskele for the train ferry across Lake Van are propelled from Tatvan Gar to Tatvan Iskele, where passengers alight and join the ferry on foot. Once this is completed, the train propels the mail van onto the train ferry. In the westbound direction, once passengers have boarded at Tatvan Iskele station, the train sets back onto the ferry to attach the mail van, enabling passengers in the rear carriage to traverse the link span on to the ferry. The mail van is the only part of the train that crosses Lake Van on the train ferry. The line between Tatvan Gar and Tatvan İskele describes three 180 degree curves. A connection links the two sides of the middle curve, forming a balloon loop. The westbound train uses this balloon loop and then propels into Tatvan Gar station, so that the train is then correctly formed (loco leading, baggage van on rear) for departure towards Ankara. Passenger therefore need to do the line in both directions to cover all available track.
Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.
|MWO||22012 Vangölü Ekspresi||10:55 TSuO Ankara - 05:03 MWO Elazığ - Tatvan Gar|
|Note 1||TFSuO||52602||07:05 Elazığ - Tatvan Gar (this is a mixed train carrying freight wagons)|
|SUSPENDED||ThO||Trans-Asya Ekspresi||14:25 WO Ankara - 07:21 ThO Elazığ - Tatvan İskele|
|TThO||52011 Vangölü Ekspresi||07:55 Tatvan Gar - Ankara|
|Note 1||MWSO||52601||07:35 Tatvan Gar - Elazığ (this is a mixed train carrying freight wagons)|
|SUSPENDED||FO||Trans-Asya Ekspresi||05:50 FO Tatvan İskele - Ankara|
The Trans-Asya Ekspresi (Ankara - Tehran) operates once a week and is the only train serving Tatvan İskele. Only the through baggage car is carried on the Tatvan - Van train ferry; through passengers join the ferry on foot. As at March 2020 this train is suspended owing to the coronavirus outbreak in Iran
Note 1: These local mixed Bölgesel Treni (regional trains) operate three times a week between Elazığ and Tatvan Gar [Tatvan station], not Tatvan Pier. However, they are shown in the journey planner only up to Christmas 2019. A native Turkish railway expert thinks that they are are probably still running. The compilers would appreciate any information about these trains.
Hanli – Bostankaya
[Bölge 4] (ERA–E 113A4) TR20/11
This 32 km freight-only cut-off avoiding Sivas is being used by through passenger services between Ankara and Kars, Van and Kurtalan (the Dogu, Turistik Doğu, Vangolu and Guney Kurtalan expresses) whilst Sivas station is closed from 1 April 2019 owing to engineering work for the Ankara - Sivas high speed line. Sivas passengers are conveyed by bus between Sivas and Bostankaya. The work was supposed to finish on 15 December 2019 but use of this route is now likely to continue until although no end date is known.
This line is used by the Turistik Doğu Ekspresi
|See note||Turistik Doğu Ekspresi||15:55 Ankara - 23:28 Kayseri - Kars|
|See note||Turistik Doğu Ekspresi||22:35 Kars - 02:19 Erzerum - Ankara|
Note: MWFO in summer; daily in winter
Van İskele [Van Pier] – Van Gar – Kapiköy – Razi (Iran) – Tabriz
[Bölge 5] (ERA–E 113C4) TR20/12
As at January 2021 all trains are suspended owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
|MO||717||21:00 Van Gar - Tehran|
|ThO||719||21:25 Van İskele - Tehran|
|WO||718||22:05 Tehran - 18:30 ThO Kapiköy – Van İskele|
|SuO||716||13:00 Tehran - 09:15 MO Kapiköy – Van Gar|
The times should be checked on official websites as the provision of information cannot be relied upon.
Other sparse services
The following lines have few trains (relative to service levels generally in this country) - fewer than three trains each way on at least three days a week - or do not run each weekday.
|Halkali - Çerkezköy - Kapikule - Svilengrad (Bulgaria)||Bölge 1||(ERA 111A2 - 111C1)||One train each way per day between Halkali and Kapikule and one between Halkali and Çerkezköy.
The Istanbul-Sofia Express runs nightly between Halkali and Sofia. However, as at March 2020, this train is suspended owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Optima Express car carrying train runs approximately twice a week between Villach (Austria) and Edirne (Turkey).
|Pehlivanköy - Uzunköprü||Bölge 1||ERA 112A4||One train each way per day|
|Irmak - Çankiri - Karabük - Filyos - Zonguldak||Bölge 2||(ERA 112C4)||Trains are running only between Karabük and Zonguldak owing to engineering work.|
|Boğazköprü - Niğde - Ulukışla (- Adana)||Bölge 2||(ERA 112C3)||One train each way: the Erciyes Ekspresi between Kayseri and Adana.|
|Balıkesir - Bandirma Şehir||Bölge 3||(ERA 112B4)||Two trains each way, the 6 Eylul Ekspresi and 17 Eylül Ekspresi. Connection at Bandirma for high speed ferries to İstanbul Yenikapı.|
|Karakuyu - Isparta||Bölge 3||(ERA 112B3)||The Göller Ekspresi, running overnight between İzmir Basmane and Isparta, is the only train over this line.|
|Uşak - Afyonkarahisar Ali Çetinkaya||Bölge 7||(ERA 112B3)||The Konya Mavi, running overnight between Izmir and Konya, is the only train over this line|
|Afyonkarahisar Ali Çetinkaya - Karakuyu||Bölge 7||(ERA 112B3)||The Pamukkale Ekspresi between Eskişehir and Denizli is the only train over this line.|
|Afyonkarahisar Ali Çetinkaya – Konya||Bölge 7||(ERA 112B3 - 112C3)||The Konya Mavi, running overnight between Izmir and Konya, is the only train over this line.|
|Karaman - Ulukışla (- Adana)||Bölge 6||(ERA 112C3)||The Toros Ekspresi between Adana and Konya is the only train over this line.|
|Kütahya - Tavşanlı - Balikesir||Bölge 7||(ERA 112B4)||Two trains each way, the Izmir Mavi and the Ege Ekspresi.|
|Kalın - Amasya - Samsun||Bölge 4||(ERA 113A4)||All services suspended since September 2015 for engineering work|
|Divriği - Erzincan - Erzurum - Kars||Bölge 4||(ERA 113A4 - 113C4)||The Dogu Ekspresi runs daily between Ankara and Kars but no longer carries sleeping cars. The Turistik Doğu Ekspresi, conveying sleeping cars, runs daily between Ankara and Kars. A local train runs daily between Divriği and Erzincan.|
|Kars - Akyaka||Bölge 4||(ERA 113C4)||Two local trains daily between Kars and Akyaka, on the border with Armenia.|
|Çetinkaya - Malatya||Bölge 5||(ERA 113A3 - ERA 113A4)||A daily train between Ankara and Malatya continues 5 days a week as the Güney Kurtalan Ekspresi to/from Kurtalan and 2 days a week as the Vangölü Ekspresi to/from Tatvan.|
|Yolcati - Diyarbakır - Batman - Kurtalan||Bölge 5||(ERA 113B3)||The Güney-Ekspresi runs 5 days a week between Ankara and Kurtalan. In addition there are two trains a day between Diyarbakır and Batman.|
|Malatya - Fevzipasa||Bölge 5||(ERA 113A3)||One train each way, the Firat Ekspresi, runs daily between Elaziğ and Adana.|
|Fevzipaşa – İslahiye||Bölge 6||(ERA 113A3)||One local train a day each way: early morning from İslahiye and late evening back.|
Deletions since previous edition
|TR20/9||(Sivas –) Tecer (Km 649+750 Start of New Line) – Kangal – Temürün Köyü (Km 700+670 End of New Line) (– Çetinkaya)||This line lost its passenger service from 8 December 2019.|