Friendship Express

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Friendship Express
Dostluk Ekspresi
Εξπρές Φιλίας
Service type InterCity
Status Discontinued
Locale European Turkey, northern Greece
First service July 2005 (2005-07)
Last service February 2011 (2011-03)
Current operator(s) TCDD, TrainOSE
Start Sirkeci Terminal, Istanbul
Stops 10
End Thessaloniki Rail Station, Thessaloniki
Average journey time 13h03' (westbound),
12h19' (eastbound)
Service frequency Daily each way
Train number(s) 444/445, 81021/81022
Line used Istanbul–Vienna railway,
Alexandroupoli–Svilengrad railway,
Thessaloniki–Alexandroupoli railway
On-board services
Sleeping arrangements 5 TCDD Sleepers, 3 OSE Sleepers
Catering facilities yes
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification Istanbul to Pehlivankoy
Track owner(s) OSE Thessaloniki–Pythion,
TCDD Istanbul–Hudut
Route map
00:00 Istanbul Sirkeci
04:05 Uzunköprü
Turkish - Greek Border
05:18 Pythion
07:39 Alexandroupolis
08:38 Komotini
09:10 Xanthi
10:26 Drama
11:18 Serres
12:39 Kilkis
13:03 Thessaloniki (ΝΕΣΘ)

The Friendship Express (Turkish: Dostluk Ekspresi, Greek: Εξπρές Φιλίας, Exprés Filías), was an international InterCity train jointly operated by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) and TrainOSE S.A. from July 2005 to February 2011, linking Istanbul's Sirkeci Terminal, Turkey and Thessaloniki, Greece. Eastbound trains (service 444/81021) departed daily at 19:48 from Thessaloniki arriving to Istanbul at 08:07. Westbound trains (service 81022/445) departed at 20:30 from Istanbul, arriving to Thessaloniki at 09:33.[1]

There were two trains on this service, one provided by TrainOSE and the other by TCDD. TrainOSE used OSE former SNCF type T2 sleeping cars while TCDD used TVS2000 type cars. The trains changed locomotives at Pythion railway station.

This train service was terminated on 13 February 2011.[2] This is due to cost cutting by Greek state-owned company TrainOSE.[3]

On March 8, 2016 were signed an intergovernmental agreement between Greece and Turkey for reconnecting the line Istanbul to Thessaloniki with an enhancement to Igoumenitsa (a town facing towards Italy) with the goal to create the Egnatia Railway[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ TCDD: "02/13/2011 (inclusive) From the date of DOSTLUK/FILIA EXPRESS trains will be canceled until further notice" [1]
  3. ^ Greece severs international links, International Railway Journal, March, 2011
  4. ^ Συμφωνία για υπερταχεία Θεσσαλονίκης-Κωνσταντινούπολης

External links[edit]