Turkey - Older General Information
This document acts as an archive for Recent and Future Changes prior to December 2014.
Changes in 2014
All traffic east of Karkamis (to Nusaybin) was withdrawn at the end of September as it was too dangerous to run trains on the line. The line is not expected to open until the Syrian conflict has ended.
The much delayed 511 km high speed line between Eskişehir and Pendik, east of İstanbul, was ceremonially opened on 25 July, with public services commencing the following day. This utilises the 15km section avoiding İzmit city centre (operational since August 1999). On 17 November TCDD announced that local services between Pendik and Arifiye would resume "before the end of 2014."
The very tortuous old alignment between Tecer and Kangal was expected to fall out of use but continued in use by one local mixed train each way until new trains were introduced via the new main line from 23 February. However, the local mixed train was reinstated from 18 March, reopening the old line to passenger traffic.
Changes in 2013
The Bosphorus crossing (Marmaray project), connecting the European and Asian networks, was ceremonially opened on 29 October. It comprises a 13.6 km double track tunnel from Yenikapı to Haydarpaşa, including a 1.4 km immersed-tube tunnel (the world's deepest), and also modernisation of the Sirkeci - Halkali and Haydarpaşa - Gebze suburban lines. The tunnel was completed on the 23 September 2008. Completion of the entire project had been repeatedly delayed, largely due to the discovery of a Byzantine-era archaeological find on the proposed site of the European tunnel terminal in 2005. On 19 June the last trains from İstanbul Haydarpaşa, suburban services to Pendik, were withdrawn.
Passenger services between Gaziantep and Nusaybin had been withdrawn by May 2013, supposedly because of engineering work.
On 1 March Halkali - Yedikule was closed for construction work, putting an end to international services to İstanbul Sirkeci. Suburban services between Sirkeci and Yedikule continued to run until they were indefinitely suspended from 19 March.
Changes in 2012
A cut-off between Tecer and Kangal, south east of Sivas, opened probably in September - 39 years after the project started. It incorporates the 5367 m Deliktaş tunnel, the longest in Turkey.
On 19 March, the İstanbul - Kapikule line between Çerkezköy and Pehlivanköy was closed for engineering work from 07:00 - 19:00 each day Monday - Thursday. The line was open to traffic all day Friday - Sunday but the Bosphorus Express was replaced by buses between İstanbul Serkeci and Kapikule every day of the week.
The line between Pendik (25 km from Haydarpaşa) and Gebze closed on 29 April.
The main line from İstanbul Haydarpaşa closed completely on 1 February between Gebze (45 km from Haydarpaşa) and İzmit. All long-distance services were either cancelled or curtailed. The overnight services between Haydarpaşa and Ankara/Konya were withdrawn. Services to/from Adana and Eskişehir ran to and from Arifiye in lieu of Haydarpaşa. All long distance services to and from the East were withdrawn between Haydarpaşa and Anakara. There were no road replacement services between Arifiye and Haydarpaşa, although suburban services continued between Haydarpaşa and Gebze, a line isolated from the rest of the system.
Changes in 2011
Services on the 32 km line between Muratli (about half way between Erdine and Istanbul) and Tekirdag on the Sea of Marmara, opened as recently as 1 September 2010, were withdrawn from 22 December owing to lack of patronage.
The 112 km high speed line from Polatlı, on the Ankara - İstanbul line, to Konya opened to public traffic on 24 August.
Ankara suburban services (Sincan - Ankara - Kayas) were withdrawn on 1 August owing to construction of the new high speed line into Ankara from the west. All long-distance trains therefore used the suburban tracks between Ankara and Sincan.
Changes in 2009
The first stage of the 533 km İstanbul - Ankara high speed line, signalled to ETCS level 1 and with a design speed of 250 km/h, was opened to public traffic on 14 March between Sincan and Inönü, west of Eskişehir.