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03/13/2011 Railways in Turkey: timetable, train fares and route map

Due to a sharp increase of bus fares, trains in Turkey have become a convenient and inexpensive way to travel around the country.
Turkish Railways (TC Devlet Demiryollari-TCDD) connects many cities in Turkey. The total length of railways in Turkey is 8 thoUSAnd km. In 2003, the Turkish Railways consisted of 1,603 locomotives, 344 electric and 868 diesel locomotives, 4,077 passenger cars and 51,706 freight cars.

Trains for Asian destinations in Turkey leave from Haydarpa_a Station (pictured right), a ferry ride across the Bosphorus from Sirkeci Station where the European trains arrive. Ferries sail to Haydarpa_a station every 10-30 minutes from the Karaköy ferry terminal next to the Galata Bridge on the European side of Istanbul. The fare is 1.50 YTL. The Haydarpa_a ferry terminal is right in front of the station.

Trains in Turkey have several types of accommodation to choose from:

Pullman seats.

1st class reclining seat in a carpeted open-plan saloon.

1st class ordinary seats, usually in 6-seat compartments.

2nd class seats, usually in 8-seat compartments.

Sleeping-cars ('yatakli wagon' in Turkish).

Private 1- and 2-bed rooms with washbasin.

Couchettes ('ku_et' in Turkish).

Shared 4-bunk compartments (6-berth on some routes).

The best Turkish trains now use modern air-conditioned 'TVS2000' coaches like the ones shown below, which are as good as anything in western Europe. TVS2000 trains run from Istanbul to Ankara, Istanbul to Denizli/PamUKkale, Ankara to Izmir, Ankara to Adana, and Ankara to Erzurum & Kars. RestaUrant cars are available on a number of trains, serving inexpensive meals & beer. A 3-course meal and a half-bottle of wine cost only about TL11 (£5 or $8).

The best overnight trains in Turkey use modern air-conditioned TVS2000 sleeping-cars. Sleeper compartments have beds and a washbasin, soap and towels provided, plus a small fridge with mineral water. There's even a shower at the end of the corridor. Compartments convert from a bedroom at night to a private sitting room with armchairs and small table for the daytime part of a journey. Trains with TVS2000 sleeping-cars include the Ankara Express from Istanbul to Ankara, the PamUKkale Express from Istanbul to Denizli, the Meram Express from Istanbul to Konya, the night trains from Ankara to Izmir, the Curacova Express from Ankara to Adana, and the Erzurum Express from Ankara to Erzurum & Kars. Travelling in these sleepers is like staying in a good hotel, a great way to travel that saves on hotel bills, too. Couchettes are basic padded bunks, with 4 bunks per compartment. Couchettes convert to ordinary seating compartments for the daytime part of a journey. On some trains, couchettes are provided without bedding, but on other trains there are 'covered couchettes' (örtülü ku_et), with sheet, blanket and pillow supplied. The best overnight trains such as the Istanbul-Ankara, Istanbul-Konya and Ankara-Izmir trains now have modern air-conditioned TVS2000 couchette cars like the one below. Older trains may have the old type, shown further below.

Discountss:

Children: Kids travel free if they're younger than 8 years old.

Students: 20% discount, but you may need a Turkish student card to be eligible.

Seniors: 20% discount for travelers 60 and older.

Round-trip and Return trip: 20% discount off full fare if you buy a gidi_-dönü_ ticket. Turkish soldiers, teachers, members of the press, veterans, etc. are also entitled to discounts. You need the proper Turkish ID card to obtain these discounts. Monthly Rail Passes If you plan to travel a lot by train, consider the 30-day Train Tour Cards (Tren Tur Kart1) which grant substantial discounts on the top trains, including sleeper trains. The train is getting a little worn and grubby, but the seats are comfortable, there is powerful air-conditioning, a café, and even piped music.

For timetable, train fares and scheme of Turkish Railways click here: http://hainanwel.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=395&t=717


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