Disruptions in Bulgaria and Turkey
June 12, 2014
There are currently disruptions in both the Bulgarian and Turkish train network, as a result of construction works. If you plan to travel through Bulgaria and Turkey, you should read the following with care. This information is especially important for people who plan on taking the Balkan Express or Bosphorus Express to Istanbul.
Construction works in Bulgaria
The construction works in Bulgaria greatly effect the international train connections to Turkey. The Balkan Express from Sofia to Istanbul doesn't go any further than Yabalkovo, from where replacement buses will take you to Dimtrovgrad and beyond to Kapikule in Turkey. Your Eurail pass is valid on these buses. The journey by bus will take about 3 hours and 20 minutes.
The Bosphorus Express from Bucharest to Istanbul doesn't go any further than Gorna Orjahovitza. From there, replacement buses will take you to Dimitrovgrad and beyond to Kapikule in Turkey. Your Eurail pass is valid on these buses. Please note that this journey by bus will take no less than 7 hours.
Construction works in Turkey
When traveling to Istanbul, keep in mind that all trains coming from Europe will halt at Cerkezköy. A replacement bus operates between Cerkezköy and Istanbul and your Eurail pass is valid on this bus. If you're traveling the other way, you need to make your reservations at Istanbul Sirkeci station, before taking the replacement bus to Cerkezköy.
There are currently no trains running between Istanbul Haydarpasa and Eskisehir. You can take a regular bus on this route, but this is not included in your Eurail pass. From Eskisehir, trains run normally to Ankara and the rest of Turkey.
Turkey's first high-speed train line
The Turkish Railways (TCDD) are constructing the country's very first high-speed train line within Europe. The train line will connect the capital city, Ankara with the most-populated city, Istanbul through the new Bosporus tunnel. The new transport line is expected to serve around 17 million people and cut travel times as well as pollution levels.