Turkey and Bulgaria to reinstate Istanbul-Sofia Express sleeper train

The Istanbul-Sofia Express will resume services on Monday, April 25, the Turkish ministry of Transport and Infrastructure announced on Wednesday. The sleeper train was suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resumption of services follows negotiations between Turkish State Railways (TCDD) and its Bulgarian counterpart BDZ. The Istanbul-Sofia Express will depart from Istanbul’s Halkalı station at 21.40 local time. It will arrive in Sofia the next morning at 09.35. Later that day, at 18.30 in the evening, the sleeper train will embark on its return journey to Istanbul.

The Istanbul-Sofia Express consists both of couchette cars and fully fledged sleeping wagons. According to the ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, some 65,000 people made use of the sleeper train service between 2017 and the first three months of 2020.

The Istanbul-Sofia Express travels across a rugged terrain. Image: Turkish ministry of Transport and Infrastructure

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Author: Nick Augusteijn

Editor RailTech.com

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