Disruptions in Bulgaria and Turkey
July 27, 2016
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 Interrail 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 Interrail 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 travelling to Istanbul, keep in mind that all trains coming from Europe will halt at Kapikule. A replacement bus operates between Kapikule and Istanbul and your Interrail 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 Kapikule.
There are no more trains running to or from Istanbul Haydarpasa. You can get to Eskisehir by bus, but this is not included in your Interrail pass. At Eskisehir, there are construction works, but you should be able to connect 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.