Although the concept of railway is still not widely accepted in Turkey, during the Ottoman period, Sultan Abdulaziz envied the railways he saw abroad and ordered it to be built between Istanbul and Edirne. For the construction of the railway, the employer palace objected to one of them when it came to pass that the train track would pass through Topkapı Palace.
The history of the railway in Anatolia starts on September 23, 1856, when the first railway line, the 130 km İzmir Aydın line, was hit by a British firm's first digging.
Thus, the first railway line in Anatolia, the 130 km line, was completed in the period of Sultan Abdulaziz in 10 with a year-long 1866 study.
In historical order, the railway lines are as follows;
- 1860 İzmir-Aydın railway line was built by the British.
- 1865 Izmir-Town railway line was laid.
- 1869-1877 East railway (Rumeli Line)
- 1872 Anadolu Bağdat railway was later connected to Mecca.
- 1892 Mudanya Bursa railway
- 1899 Horasan Sarıkamış Military train line
The first railway transportation in the Ottoman Empire was made in 1854 on the Cairo-Alexandria line. The first railway in Anatolia was built between İzmir and Aydın. In the Ottoman Empire, the railway was mainly built during the Second World War. It was built during the reign of Abdülhamit.
II. Abdulhamid era railways
The railways and other works built during the reign of Abdülhamit are seen as the most intense period of Ottoman history, due to the developing technology and the relations developed with Europe during his rule of more than 33 years.
Railroad length by country in 1914
The history of the railway in the Ottoman lands begins with the concession of the 1851 km Cairo-Alexandria Railway line in 211, and the history of the railways within today's national borders begins with the concession of the 23 km İzmir-Aydın Railway Line on September 1856, 130. For this reason, 1856 is considered a milestone for the Turkish Railway History. The British, French and Germans, who were given railway concessions in the Ottoman Empire, dwell on separate regions: France; in Northern Greece, Western and Southern Anatolia and Syria, England; in Romania, Western Anatolia, Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Germany; It creates spheres of influence in Thrace, Central Anatolia and Mesopotamia.
Western capitalists build the railway, which is a very important and strategic transportation route with the industrial revolution, in order to transport the agricultural products and important mines, which are the raw materials of the textile industry, to the ports in the fastest way and from there to their own countries. Moreover, the guarantee of profit per km, the operation of the mines around 20 km of the railway, etc. They expand railway constructions by obtaining concessions. Therefore, the railway lines built in the Ottoman lands and the routes they pass are shaped according to the economic and political purposes of these countries.
Lines built in Ottoman lands between 1856-1922:
- Rumeli Railways: 2383 km / normal line
- Anatolian-Baghdad Railways: 2424 km / normal line
- İzmir -Town and its extension: 695 km / normal line
- Izmir -Aydin and its branches: 610 km / normal line
- Sam-Hama and its extension: 498 km / narrow and normal line
- Jaffa-Jerusalem: 86 km / normal line
- Bursa-Mudanya: 42 km / narrow line
- Ankara-Yahşihan: 80 km / narrow line
Total 8.619 km