Train Ferries Working in the Bosphorus are Returning

train members returning to work since the year are returning
train members returning to work since the year are returning

'Train ferries', which have been used in cargo transportation for many years and have not been operating since 2013, will be used again. The first ferries were repaired and will be operational in 2020.

How did train wagons pass from Sirkeci to Haydarpaşa in the past? Have you ever thought about that? Or did you see how it went? With the Marmaray, which was opened in 2014, train wagons were transported by ferries between the two continents until the rail pass between Europe and the Anatolian continent.

Newspaper WallAccording to the news of Bengisu Kukul; “Once, freight wagons were transported to the Haydarpaşa Station from Sirkeci Station. There were train ferries for this. The ferries, which railroaders called 'train ferry', worked between Sirkeci and Haydarpaşa for years.

Rails extending to the shore at the train ferry ports in Sirkeci and Haydarpaşa would merge with the rails of the train. On the merged pier and ferry tracks, wagons would switch to the train. Once the wagons settled in the train ferry, they would join the rails and continue their journey.

train members returning to work since the year are returning
train members returning to work since the year are returning


So, what was the significance of these ferries? The history of these ferries, which are necessary for the continuation of train transportation between two continents, actually dates back to the past. The first train ferry service between two sides of Istanbul took place on October 5, 1926. In the old photographs, it is seen that the sea vehicle carrying a train in front of Haydarpaşa is not a train, but a big sail. After the transport of locomotives and wagons made with rafts with increasing trade relations, it was decided to build train ferry and Haydarpaşa and Sirkeci to carry the railway vehicles in the Bosphorus.


The first modern train ferry in Istanbul was built in Haliç Shipyard in 1958 and named as Railway. Then, within the framework of increasing needs, Railway 1966 was built in Haliç Shipyard in 2. And in 1982, the 3rd train ferry in Haliç Shipyard was built under the name Railway 3 and entered service. These three train ferries carried wagons between Sirkeci Haydarpaşa for many years. Then, with the closing of the train stations on both coasts, train services also stopped, and the train ferry ports were closed without function.

How are the train ferries and the piers they live today?

Istanbul is a city that changes every day, we witness the history that collapsed before our eyes. The first railway ferry, the Railway Ferry, was discontinued and sold after 2000. Railway 2 and 3 train ferries, which have not been used for a long time, are found in Haydarpaşa Port. The pier where the train ferries approach in Sirkeci is idle today, it is not used. The pier in Haydarpaşa is the same. The piers offer you a unique view with their rails stretching to the sea.

First of all, I go to the TCDD museum inside the Sirkeci train station to get detailed information about train ferries. When they told the staff working in the museum that I wanted to get information about train ferries, they direct me to the Haydarpaşa port management directorate.

Things get a little difficult when you go to Haydarpaşa Port. It is very difficult to enter the port, where strict security is taken. Thanks to those who directed me from Sirkeci, I can enter the harbor. First of all, I am meeting with the port manager, İrfan Sarı. He says that train trains are not used anymore and DOK captain, who is more knowledgeable about this, directs me to service chief Rüştü Özkan.


Rüştü Kaptan, 43, who has been working at the port of Haydarpaşa for 63 years, gives us the following information about the ships: “One of the train ferries has been shut down since 1966 and the other one since 1982. The railways in Sirkeci and Haydarpaşa have not been serving since 2013. With the new decision, it will be ready for operation until March 2020 and will serve again. In January 2020, train trains were taken to Tuzla Shipyard for renovation.


When I ask about the importance of train ferries, he says that it is important because there is no alternative, and continues: “The freight wagons are difficult to pass through the submarine tube passage used by Marmaray because the Marmaray tube passage was built for the transportation of passengers. There are freight wagons weighing from 10 tons to 90 tons. Besides, it is impossible for hazardous materials and military ammunition to pass through the tube. Train wagons are more convenient in transportation since they have 12 wagons and 480 tons carrying capacity. He worked 24 hours a day when he served and made 8-9 times a day. Its density varied according to exports and imports. Due to the high loads from Europe to Iran, the number of train trains increased to three in time. Just moving cargo to Iraq not Iran, according to Turkey because both railways. After the Marmaray project, a ship between Tekirdağ and Derince, 187 meters in length, with a capacity of 50 cars started to serve. Thus, freight transport between the two continents did not interfere. ”He states that train ferries serve between Van and Tatvan today. To rejuvenate international trade and preserve the historical fabric, the piers and train ferries should be renewed and served again.

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