Turkey's First Railway Line 'İzmir-Aydın railway'

The Ottoman Railway Company, which was based in Izmir, operated in the south and southeast of the Aegean Region between 1856 and 1935 and built the Izmir-Aydin Railway (full name Izmir (Alsancak) -Aydın Railway and Branches) line, which was the first railway line in Anatolia. and operating British railway company.

ORC Company quickly dominated the railway industry in Izmir and its surroundings, with the privilege it received from the Ottoman government. The aim of the company was to facilitate export by bringing the mines extracted in the south and southeast of the Aegean Region and various agricultural products (especially Figs) grown in Küçük Menderes and Büyük Menderes plains to İzmir Port faster. As of 1912, the company built branch lines to towns in Izmir (Ödemiş and Tire), as well as extending the main railway line first to Denizli and then to Eğirdir. However, he failed to reach his first goal, Konya, and continued to operate as a regional railway company. In addition, the company played an important role in the commuter train service operated in the south of Izmir. In 1912, 3 suburban train routes (Buca, Seydiköy, Ödemiş) were operated by the company.

ORC Company was bought and dissolved by TCDD in 1935, and the lines and train stations it operated were started to be operated by TCDD. Today, the successor of the İzmir - Aydın Railway line is the İzmir-Alsancak - Eğirdir railway line.


The Ottoman government gave the ORC Company the concession to build the Izmir-Aydın Railway line on September 22, 1856 and operate it for 50 years. It was initially agreed that the line was put into service on 1 October 1860 and the concession was valid as of that date. However, since the construction time and cost were neglected and the starting capital of 1,2 million pounds was too little, it was only possible for the line to be fully operational in 1866.

The first part of the line, between Alsancak - Seydiköy, was put into service on October 30, 1858. This line was the first in Anatolia and the second oldest railway line after the Alexandria - Cairo Railway line, which was put into service in the Province of Egypt in 1856, at the borders of the Ottoman Empire. ORC was able to extend the line to Eğirdir in 1912 by gaining additional concessions. In addition, the company acquired the ownership of the Şirinyer - Buca branch railway, which it has operated since 1921, in 1870.

The aim of the company was to deliver and export the mines extracted in the south and southeast of the Aegean Region and various agricultural products grown in the Küçük Menderes and Büyük Menderes plains to İzmir Port faster. However, the density in this line was not sufficient to generate large amounts of revenue, and the company was not generating a large amount of profits. At this point, the only way out for the company was to expand the railway line into the interior of Anatolia, but the company failed to win the concession to build a railway line to Afyonkarahisar or Konya. As a matter of fact, railway concessions were highly political decisions, and British voters did not want their government to assist the Ottoman Empire in building a railway line, as it was contrary to British interests in India and the Middle East. However, on the other hand, when the Chemins de Fer Ottomans d'Anatolie (Turkish: Osmanlı Anadolu Railways; report mark: CFOA) Company obtained a concession to build railways in Afyonkarahisar and Konya, ORC Company lobbyed the Ottoman government to extend the railway line it operates. He was active.

As a result, ORC acted more like a colonial railway company and aimed to connect its hinterland with a major port (Izmir Port) to facilitate the export of raw materials and agricultural products and the import of products. The ORC could not play a role in the integration of important cities such as İzmir and Konya, as in the Izmir-Basmane - Kasaba (Turgutlu) railway (SCR & SCP) line, due to bad planning in the Ottoman Empire.

İzmir-Alsancak - Eğirdir railway today
Railways Networks in Anatolia in the Ottoman Period (Yeşil İzmir - Aydın railway and branches (today İzmir-Alsancak - Eğirdir railway))

Stations and facilities 

There were many train stations and facilities on the ORC's main railway line. Alsancak Station was the one with the largest facility among the stations. When the Alsancak Maintenance Workshop was put into service, it was the largest maintenance workshop on the borders of the Ottoman Empire. Many towns also had small cargo depots next to the stations. ORC had two locomotive maintenance workshops in Alsancak and Denizli, and maintenance workshops for wagons in Alsancak, Cumaovası, Tire, Aydın, Denizli and Dinar.

Sections of the line and opening dates 

Route Distance Service Year Tour
İzmir-Alsancak Station - Şirinyer - Gaziemir 13,965 km
Gaziemir - Seydiköy 1,400 km
Branch line
Gaziemir - Torbalı 34,622 km
December 24 1860
Torbali - Selcuk 28,477 km
September 15, 1862
Selçuk - Partners - Aydın Train Station (End of the planned line) 52,948 km
July 1, 1866
Şirinyer - Buca  2,700 km
1866 – 2008
Branch line
Aydin - Kuyucak 56,932 km
Kuyucak - Sarayköy 43,825 km
July 1, 1882
Sarayköy - Goncalı - Rice Pudding - Dinar
144,256 km
Goncali - Denizli Station  9,409 km
Branch line
Rice Pudding - Çivril  30,225 km
29 December 1889 - July 1990 
Partners - Söke Station  22,012 km
December 1 1890
Branch line
Dinar - Gümüşgün - Bozanönü - Eğirdir Station 95,275 km
1 Nov 1912
Torbali - Fork - Odemis Station  61,673 km
Branch line
Fork - Tire Station  8,657 km
Branch line

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