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Europe Trains Guide Forum  |  General discussion  |  All other train travel questions  |  Bucharest-Istanbul train as of mid-April 2012
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Author Topic: Bucharest-Istanbul train as of mid-April 2012  (Read 3203 times)
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« on: March 27, 2012, 02:14:37 pm »

I just found this forum!  I love it!  All about trains!

I'm going to be training around Europe all of April, using a one-month Eurailpass.

As for buying a pass at all (for all you who wonder why in the world I'd ever do that): that's a done deal. I know how to do the math for the trains and trips I'll be taking. I've done the point-to-point vs pass comparisons till I'm blue in the face! Physically, medically, I'm about out of time! This is a one-last-chance, once in a lifetime one-month trip by train to see almost as much of Europe as I could possibly see from a train window, and I've long since decided that the amount of travel I'll be doing (nearly every day I'll go somewhere!) plus the desire NOT to be locked into firm plans if I can overcome my lifelong obsession to overplan everything, makes a one-month pass a no brainer for this kind of trip.

I am thinking seriously about going as far as Istanbul, once I get to Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria.  If I do, then I'd return from Istanbul back to Sofia or Plovdiv, and then go onward later.

I've read a lot about the border crossing into Turkey.  I've read that track construction and possibly also some flooding due to bad weather has made it necessary for the Turkish leg of the trip, in both directions. to be done by bus, not train.

Can anyone tell me what the current situation is now, late March 2012, and is likely to be in 2-3 weeks, in mid-April?
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 02:39:43 pm »

Currently train from Bucharest goes only till Kapikule (Turkish border station), and because of the track reconstruction, Turkish railways organized the bus to takeover passengers from Kapikule to Istanbul. It is likely that everything will be same in mid-April.
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2012, 02:50:43 pm »

Well, to our knowledge flood damage was repaired and trains resumed in early March, but the other problem is that TCDD (Turkish railways) started a major construction works like a week ago (some long term plans) and thus now trains from Bulgarian territory run only till Kapikule, passengers pass the border and board Turkish railways bus, which is a kind of replacement (=train ticket or pass works), it takes everybody to Istanbul Sirkeci. As far as we know, it will last for quite a long time, so unfortunately you'll have to cope with such bus ride in case you travel to Istanbul.
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