Yüksek Hızlı Tren

Yüksek Hızlı Tren or YHT (English: High-Speed Train) is the high-speed rail service in Turkey, operated by Turkish State Railways, currently operating on two lines: Ankara–Istanbul high-speed railway and Ankara–Konya high-speed railway.

Yüksek Hızlı Tren
Yüksek Hızlı Tren logo.png
An eastbound YHT train (TCDD HT80000) in Ankara
Service typeHigh-speed rail
LocaleNorthwest, Central Anatolia
First service13 March 2009
Current operator(s)TCDD Taşımacılık
Former operator(s)Turkish State Railways
Ridership8.3 million (2019)[1]
EndIstanbul or Konya
Distance travelled773 km (480.3 mi)
Average journey time1 hour, 50 minutes[2]
Service frequency5 daily (Ankara-Eskişehir)
8 daily (Ankara-Istanbul)
10 daily (Ankara-Konya)
3 daily (Istanbul-Konya)
On-board services
Class(es)First, business and economy class
Disabled accessFully accessible
Catering facilitiesOn-board café, and at-seat meals (depending on the route)
Entertainment facilitiesOn-board television with feature films
Baggage facilitiesChecked baggage available at selected stations
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Electrification25 kV 50 Hz AC
Operating speed300 km/h (186 mph) maximum[3]
Track owner(s)Turkish State Railways

YHT is the only high-speed rail service in Turkey.

On 13 March 2009, the first phase of the Ankara–Istanbul high-speed railway entered service between Ankara and Eskişehir. On 25 July 2014, the Ankara-Istanbul high-speed railway services began to reach the Pendik railway station on the Asian side of Istanbul,[4] and on 13 March 2019 the services began to reach the Halkalı railway station on the European side of Istanbul, passing through the Marmaray railway tunnel under the Bosphorus strait. There were initially 6 daily departures in both directions.[5]

On 23 August 2011, the YHT service on the Ankara–Konya high-speed railway was inaugurated.

High-speed rail in Turkey is still developing, with new lines currently under construction or in the planning phase. By 2023, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure expects Turkey's high-speed rail system to increase to 10,000 kilometres.[6]



Istanbul and Ankara are Turkey's largest two cities, having a combined population over 16,500,000. Transportation between the two cities is high. The Otoyol 4 motorway is a major highway between the two cities, and the Ankara–Istanbul route is the busiest domestic air route in the country. The route between Istanbul and Ankara by rail has been a single-track line, and trains usually were delayed 30 minutes to 2 hours plus the average 7 hours, 30 minutes travel time. Rail transport in Turkey was already at its lowest point, so in 2003 the State Railways and the Turkish Ministry of Transport made an agreement to build a 533 km (331 mi) line between the two cities. The line would be an electrified double trackline. Construction began in 2004 from Esenkent to Eskişehir. The line was completed on 23 April 2007.[7]


An ETR 500 train set was used for testing the high-speed lines

On 28 February 2007 TCDD requested bids for high-speed train sets from other networks to be tested on the completed portion of the high-speed line.

On 30 March 2007 TCDD signed an agreement with Trenitalia of Ferrovie dello Stato to rent an ETR 500 train set for 4 months.[7][8]

The first run was from Haydarpaşa Terminal in Istanbul to the Central Station in Ankara, using the completed portion of the high-speed line between Hasanbey and Esenkent.

On 14 September 2007 the ETR 500 Y2 set a speed record in Turkey, reaching 303 km/h (188.3 mph).[9] This test received extensive media coverage in Turkey.

On 20 November 2007 the first TCDD HT65000 high-speed train sets purchased from CAF of Spain entered Turkey from the Kapıkule border station in Edirne,[10] and tests were subsequently made with these trains prior to the commencement of services on 13 March 2009.

In 2010 one of the YHT trains was converted into a test train in order to test and measure the new lines.[11] The Transportation Ministry spent 14 million TL (around 7 million Euros at that time) for the installation of testing and measuring equipment on the train, which it named – because it is a tradition to give a name to test trains – as "Piri Reis" after the renowned Turkish admiral and cartographer who drew some of the most accurate and detailed maps of the Mediterranean Sea and the Americas in the early 16th century.[11]


TCDD requested bids for the name of the high-speed service. Out of over 100 entries, the ones with the highest votes were: Türk Yıldızı (Turkish Star), Turkuaz (Turquoise), Yüksek Hızlı Tren (High Speed Train), Çelik Kanat (Steel Wing) and Yıldırım (Lightning). TCDD chose Yüksek Hızlı Tren to be the name of the service.[12]


On 13 March 2009 the inaugural ceremony took place in Ankara; attended by President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Minister of Transport Binali Yıldırım, who started the first phase of the YHT service between Ankara and Eskişehir.


Yearmillion riders±% p.a.
2011 2.56—    
2012 3.35+30.86%
2013 4.21+25.67%
2014 5.09+20.90%
2015 5.69+11.79%
2016 5.9+3.69%
2017 7.1+20.34%
2018 8.1+14.08%
2019 8.3+2.47%
Source: [13][14][1]

Until 2015 Ridership had grown at the expense of TCDD's regular train services and has not dented air traffic demand. Total TCDD services incl. HSR remain flat.[13] Traffic is was affected since 2012 all services to Istanbul were suspended. A sharp increase in ridership occurred after extra high speed trains started operation. A further increase in 2018 and 2019 is expected with new trainsets becoming operational and the opening of the Istanbul terminals Halkali and Haydarpasa.[14]

Lines in operationEdit

Turkish State Railways network: High-speed rail tracks in service, under construction and in plan.
A TCDD HT65000 at the ATG terminal in Ankara
A TCDD HT80000 at the ATG terminal in Ankara
The ATG terminal in Ankara is a hub for the YHT services of the Turkish State Railways
Line Connected cities/stations Year of inauguration Operational top speed Type of trains
Ankara–Istanbul high-speed railway Sincan · Polatlı · Eskişehir 13 March 2009 250 km/h HT65000, TCDD HT80000
Vesirhan · Köseköy · Gebze · Pendik 25 July 2014 250 km/h and 160 km/h
Halkalı 13 March 2019 120 km/h
Polatlı–Konya high-speed railway Konya 23 August 2011 250 km/h


Ankara to Eskişehir service was the first YHT and high-speed rail route in Turkey, entering service on 13 March 2009. The route has the most frequent train service of the whole YHT network, with 13 daily trains in each direction, 8 of which continue to Istanbul, while only 5 daily trains operate just between the two cities. The average journey time is 1 hour and 29 minutes.


Before the YHT came into operation, average journey time between İstanbul and Ankara was 7 hours and 30 minutes. By transferring from the YHT to intercity trains at Eskişehir, average journey time between İstanbul and Ankara has fallen to 5 hours and 30 minutes.[15] After the completion of the second phase of the Ankara-Istanbul high-speed railway (Eskişehir-Istanbul) in 2013, some journeys between Ankara and Eskişehir were extended to Istanbul and YHT started running on the Ankara-Istanbul (Pendik) route on 26 July 2014. The journey is now reduced to as little as 3 hours 49 minutes.[2]


The route was put into service on 23 August 2011 on the second high-speed railway line being constructed in Turkey. With its inauguration, the journey time between these two cities hugely decreased (mainly because of the absence of direct railway link between the cities).


The line was put into service on 17 December 2014. It stops at every stations on its route in which YHT service in present. The average journey time is about 4 hours and 17 minutes.

Lines under constructionEdit

Turkey's high-speed rail network is expanding, with three more high-speed railways under construction and several more planned. The Turkish State Railways plans to increase its network of high-speed rail to 3,500 km (2,200 mi) by 2023.

Line Connected cities/stations Year of inauguration Operational top speed Type of trains
Ankara-Sivas high-speed railway Kayaş · Kırıkkale · Yerköy · Yozgat · Sorgun · Sivas 2020 (expected) 140 km/h and 250 km/h TCDD HT80000
Polatlı-Izmir high-speed railway Afyon · Uşak · Salihli · Tugutlu 2021 (expected) 250 km/h HT65000, TCDD HT80000
Bilecik - Bandırma high-speed railway Yenişehir · Bursa 2012-2023 250 km/h HT65000, TCDD HT80000
Bandırma 2020-2023 250 km/h HT65000, TCDD HT80000
Istanbul–Edirne–Kapıkule–Svilengrad (Bulgaria) high-speed railway Çerkezköy railway station · Kapıkule railway station · Svilengrad railway station 2019-2022 250 km/h HT65000, TCDD HT80000


Ankara to Sivas high-speed rail service is expected to begin operation in mid-2020. The 467 km (290 mi) route will reduce travel time between the two cities from 9 hours and 30 minutes to 2 hours and 50 minutes. The railway will use a straighter route to Sivas, through Yozgat, bypassing Kayseri. Direct service from Istanbul to Sivas is also planned upon opening with an expected journey time of around 5 hours.

Sivas–Kars lineEdit

An extension eastwards to Kars from the Ankara – Sivas line is planned (a feasibility study done in 2006[16]), passing through Erzincan and Erzurum.[17] The line is expected to be built in three phases. It will be electrified and double-tracked based on the 250 km/h standard.[18]

SivasErzincan line construction will start in 2018.


Ankara to İzmir high-speed rail service has been talked about since construction of the Ankara-Istanbul high-speed railway began. The 570 km (350 mi) long route will reduce travel time between the two cities from around 13 hours to 3 hours and 30 minutes. The route will diverge off the Polatlı-Konya high-speed railway just south of Polatlı junction and head west, through Afyonkarahisar. The railway will connect to the İzmir-Afyon railway at Manisa and continue into İzmir together with other trains. A second route into İzmir though Kemalpaşa is also planned. This route would diverge off the railway west of Turgutlu and enter İzmir from the east. The line would run underground, parallel with the Halkapınar—Otogar Line of the İzmir Metro, connecting to the existing railway at Halkapınar in the city center.

Bilecik–Bursa-Bandırma high-speed lineEdit

A new line between Bursa and Bilecik Osmaneli is planned to connect with the Ankara–Istanbul high-speed line; contracts were awarded in 2011 and construction is expected to start in 2012. The line is expected to open in 2023, and would be capable of 250 km/h operation.[19] The project was revised and extended to Bandırma in summer 2020. The total length of revised line is 201 km.

İstanbul–Edirne–Kapıkule–Svilengrad (Bulgaria) high-speed lineEdit

The Ankara to Istanbul high-speed line is to be extended 230 km from Halkalı (a western suburb of Istanbul) all the way to Turkey's borders with Bulgaria and Greece at the vicinity of Kapıkule in the Edirne Province.[citation needed] Travel times will be reduced from 5 hours to 1 hour assuming non-stop journey between Istanbul terminus and the border post.

Construction began in 2019 and is expected to be finished by 2022.[20]

One-third of the budgeted investment has been done and is planned to be completed by 2020.

For high-speed trains, TCDD has a budget of more than 1  billion TL for 2014.[21]

According to the official (budgeted) and unofficial (announced) plans, 45 of 81 provincial seats will be connected by high-speed services in the long term.[22]

Lines under planningEdit

Ankara–Kayseri high-speed lineEdit

Kayseri–Yerköy line – branching from the Ankara–Sivas high-speed line.[citation needed]

Antalya–Konya–Kayseri high-speed lineEdit

This line is planned as a section of the Ankara–Antalya high-speed line. The line will used for Ankara–Antalya high-speed line.[citation needed]

Future extension plansEdit

Other projected high-speed rail lines include:

Related infrastructure projectsEdit

The Marmaray project, which consists of a rail transport network around Istanbul and the world's deepest immersed tube railway tunnel under the Bosphorus strait, is also under construction. The Marmaray tunnel will connect the railway lines on the European and Asian parts of Istanbul and Turkey. In 2013 the Marmaray tunnel was opened and passenger transportation is started partially in 13.5 km of total 76.5 km.[23] The rest was expected to be completed by 2015, but it now looks like this will not happen until some time in 2016. The project connecting the European and Asian suburban railway lines, will also connect the Thracian and Anatolian high-speed railway lines in Turkey via the world's deepest immersed-tube railway tunnel across the Bosphorus strait.[24]

A new high-speed rail terminus station is to be built in Ankara (2009–2010), which is to be funded as a public–private partnership, using the Build-Operate-Transfer model. Additionally, new stations are to be constructed in İstanbul, Izmir, Edirne, Trabzon, Erzurum, Erzincan, Sivas, Kayseri, Antalya, Afyon and Polatlı.[25] Furthermore, an additional project called Başkentray is also underway which consist of the renewal of railways in the urban section of Ankara.

Service and OperationEdit

Speed limitationsEdit

TCDD HT80000 (Siemens Velaro TR) has a maximum operating speed of 300 km/h (186 mph)[3][26]

The YHT operates at a maximum speed of 300 km/h (186 mph)[3][26] on high-speed tracks. But the YHT also runs on non-high-speed and renewed tracks like the Köseköy-Gebze section of the Ankara–Istanbul high-speed railway where its top speed is 160 km/h (99 mph). Naturally, some speed restrictions also apply in urban sections while accessing the central station, especially in Ankara and Istanbul thus increasing the journey times. The speed on these sections is expected to increase when renewal projects in urban areas (like Başkentray and second phase of Marmaray) will be completed.

Staff, operation and securityEdit

A security check point for YHT passengers at the Ankara station

On YHT service, there is usually 1 train engineer (2 on some trains), a train manager (absent in some trips), two train attendants and a café car attendant. Business-class passengers are served meals at their seats if they applied for while buying their tickets. When accessing the trains, passengers must pass a security check like in airports. Maintenance of the sets is done at the Eryaman Yard in Ankara.


Currently, there are several series of high-speed trains that run the YHT service:

Every sets have railroad cars with cabins in the front and rear car, cars for economy class passengers and car(s) for first class passengers. Additionally, some HT80000 sets have business class cabins with 4 seats. The seating arrangements are 3 seats in a row (1 on one side, 2 on the other side) in first class and 4 seats in a row (2 on each side) in economy class. Automatic sliding doors provide passage between cars. Baggage may be stowed in the overhead compartments above the seats, or underneath the seats. Wi-Fi service is available with power inputs for laptops in first and business classes and all sets are wheelchair-accessible (with places in economy class only). In economy class, seats are fabric-coated and have audio connectors and foldable tables. In first class, there are leather-coated seats and a visual and audio broadcasting system that can broadcast at least 4 hours on 4 different channels.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Emergency dropoffs only; the station has no building infrastructure and no place to rebuild.


  1. ^ a b "Turkish railways posts record figures for 2019"".
  2. ^ a b YHT Tanıtım Kitabi (YHT Reference Book), published by TCDD and Turkish Ministry of Transport.
  3. ^ a b c "Velaro Turkey: High-Speed Train for TCDD" (PDF). Siemens Mobility. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  4. ^ Uysal, Onur. "First High Speed Train Set on Ankara Istanbul Line Arrived Istanbul", Rail Turkey, 26 July 2014
  5. ^ Uysal, Onur. "New Schedule for Istanbul-Ankara High Speed Train", Rail Turkey, 9 August 2014
  6. ^ Turkey's high-speed rail system will be complete by 2023rayturk.net
  7. ^ a b "Demiryolu" Magazine March–April Issue
  8. ^ Hürriyet: Hızlı tren artık raylarda
  9. ^ "Nuovo record di velocità del treno italiano Etr 500 in Turchia: 303 km/h" (in Italian). Il Sole 24 Ore. 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
  10. ^ TCDD English Site - First High Speed Train set arrived in Turkey
  11. ^ a b "Ankara-İstanbul YHT'yi Piri Reis ölçüyor". Hürriyet. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  12. ^ Vikipedi - YHT Vikipedi Page (in Turkish).
  13. ^ a b "Every one of four traveled fast".
  14. ^ a b "Passenger Transportation by rail on the rise".
  15. ^ YHT Timetables TCDD Official Site
  17. ^ Turkey’s Railway Stations: A railway station that connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean: Sivas Railway Station Archived 4 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine www.arkas.com.tr
  18. ^ Development of Euro-Asian transport links Author: Selim Bolat, Research, Planning & Coordination Department, Turkish State Railways –TCDD, September 2007, Page 4, via www.unece.org
  19. ^ "High speed line to Bursa to open by 2015". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  20. ^ "Halkali-Kapikule railway breaks ground". KHL Group. October 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  21. ^ Uysal, Onur. "Railway Investments of Turkey in 2014", Rail Turkey, 21 January 2014
  22. ^ Uysal, Onur. "Cities To Be Connected by High-Speed Trains in Turkey", Rail Turkey, 7 May 2014
  23. ^ Uysal, Onur. "Marmaray Opened", Rail Turkey, 29 October 2013
  24. ^ Project of the Century: Marmaray www.tcdd.gov.tr
  25. ^ Privatizations & Upcoming PPP-Projects in Turkey[permanent dead link] Page 28 www.joi.or.jp
  26. ^ a b "Velaro Turkey High-Speed Train". Siemens Mobility. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  27. ^ "Turkish State Railways signed contract for ten high-speed trains". press.siemens.com. Retrieved 10 May 2020.