Karesi Express

The Karesi Express[1](Turkish: Karesi Ekspresi) is an overnight train, operating between Alsancak Terminal, İzmir and Central Station, Ankara. The train is one of two current train services between İzmir and Ankara. The eastbound journey takes about 14 hours and 16 minutes, while the westbound journey takes about 14 hours and 45 minutes.[2] The Karesi Express services 6 provincial capitals: İzmir, Manisa, Balıkesir, Kütahya, Eskişehir and Ankara.

Karesi Express
Karesi at Menemen.JPG
An Ankara bound Karesi Express rounds the curve at Menemen before arriving at the station.
Service typeIntercity rail
StatusService temporarily suspended
LocaleWestern Turkey
First service23 April 1938
Last service12 March 2020 (Service suspended)
Current operator(s)TCDD Taşımacılık
Former operator(s)Turkish State Railways
StartBasmane Terminal, İzmir
EndCentral Station, Ankara
Distance travelled824 km (512 mi)
Average journey time14 hours, 45 minutes (Eastbound)
14 hours, 16 minutes (Westbound)
Service frequencyDaily each way
Train number(s)31315 (Eastbound)
21316 (Westbound)
On-board services
Disabled accessLimited
Seating arrangementsCoach Seating
Catering facilitiesDining car
Baggage facilitiesAt select stations
Rolling stockTVS2000
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Electrification25 kV AC
Operating speed120 km/h (75 mph)
Track owner(s)TCDD

When the Turkish State Railways opened the Balıkesir-Kütahya rail line on April 23, 1938 (connecting the former SCP and the CFOA lines), rail travel between İzmir and Ankara was possible.[3] Ankara is the capital of Turkey while İzmir is the 3rd largest city in Turkey (2nd largest at the time), making transport between the two cities heavy. On April 23, 1938 the Karesi Express made its first run from İzmir to Ankara. The all pullman train made the 824 km long journey in about 18 hours. On April 1, 1972, another train was put into service between İzmir and Ankara: the 9th of September Express. This train however had a sleeping car. In 1980 the third train was put in service: The İzmir Blue Train.

On 1 April 2013 the route of the Karesi Express was cut back to Balıkesir.[4] Since 2013 the train operates as a regional train between İzmir and Balıkesir.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Karesi Express was suspended on 12 March 2021.


The name "Karaesi Express" comes from the beylik of Karasi[citation needed], that had its capital city in Balıkesir, a city which the Karesi Express passes through.


The consist of he train has changed many times through the years, since the first 4 car train left Ankara in 1938. These changes usually happen because of other trains being put into or removed from service. Today the consist usually is:

  • TCDD E68000
  • 3 TVS2000 Coaches
  • K70 Dining Car
  • 2 TVS2000 Coaches
  • 2 K60 Couchettes

Between 2001 and 2009 the consist was:

  • DE22000
  • TVS2000 Generator Car
  • 4 Intercity coaches
  • Intercity diner
  • Intercity couchette

The first consist that began service on April 23, 1938 consisted of:

  • Steam locomotive
  • Coach
  • Coach
  • Diner/Coach
  • Couchette



  1. ^ Railway Transportation in the website of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey.
  2. ^ TCDD Official Site Archived 2010-08-09 at the Wayback Machine - TCDD train timetables
  3. ^ Trains of Turkey - TCDD History
  4. ^ No trains between Balikesir and Ankara for 2 and a half years - yenihabergazetesi.net