The Turkish national railway operator TCDD Taşimacilik has resumed the operation of high-speed trains since May 28, 2020, but only 50% of the seats go on sale. Passengers are required to comply with all restrictions imposed due to coronavirus. The first flight was from Ankara to Istanbul.
The movement of conventional and high-speed long-distance trains in Turkey was suspended on March 28, 2020 as one of the measures aimed at containing COVID-19. At the same time, suburban transport continued to be carried out in Ankara and Istanbul.
Only those who have received a special HEPP code using the mobile application of the Ministry of Health or via SMS are allowed to travel. A mandatory requirement is to wear protective masks at stations and trains. Passengers with signs of illness will not be allowed on the train, and those who find COVID-19 symptoms already on the trip are supposed to be isolated in a dedicated compartment and ordered to leave the train at the nearest station for further medical examination. Also, trains will refuse to provide meals for passengers.
Tickets can only be purchased using the TCDD mobile application, on the company’s website or at ticket machines.
On Turkish high-speed trains 16 trains will run daily on the Ankara – Eskisehir – Konya and Ankara / Istanbul – Konya lines. Under normal conditions, in winter, 44 high-speed trains are in circulation on the TCDD network daily, 48 in the summer months.
Tickets are sold at approximately 50% of seats on high-speed trains, and passengers are required to occupy the places indicated on the tickets to maintain social distance. CAF trains with 411 seats can accommodate only 185 passengers, while Siemens-built trains with 483 seats can accommodate 213 passengers. With such a population of trains, ticket prices remained the same. In the near future, Turkey plans to resume circulation of domestic-made electric trains (photo: TCDD).