Haydarpaşa railway station

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Rasimpaşa, Haydarpaşa İskelesi, Haydarpaşa Gar Binası Yanı, 34716 Kadıköy-İstanbul, Turkey - panoramio.jpg
Haydarpaşa Terminus
LocationHaydarpaşa Gar Sk., Rasimpaşa Mah., 34716
Coordinates40°59′46″N 29°01′07″E / 40.996227°N 29.018636°E / 40.996227; 29.018636Coordinates: 40°59′46″N 29°01′07″E / 40.996227°N 29.018636°E / 40.996227; 29.018636
Owned byTurkish State Railways
Platforms6 bay platforms
ConnectionsİETT Bus, Ferry service
Structure typeAt-grade
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Statuspartially reopened[1][2]
Station code1560
(25 kV, 50 Hz AC)
Former services
Preceding station   Turkish State Railways   Following station
TerminusCapital Express
toward Ankara
Republic Express
Fatih Express
Boğaziçi Express
Anatolian Express
Ankara Express
Eskişehir Express
toward Eskişehir
Sakarya Express
Adapazarı Express
toward Adapazarı
Haydarpaşa suburban
toward Gebze

Haydarpaşa station (Turkish: Haydarpaşa Garı) is a railway station in Istanbul. Until 2012 the station was a major intercity, regional and commuter rail hub as well as the busiest railway station in Turkey. Haydarpaşa, along with Sirkeci station (on the other side of the Bosphorus), are Istanbul's two intercity and commuter railway terminals. From 19 June 2013 to 2018, all train service to the station was suspended due to the rehabilitation of the existing line for the new Marmaray commuter rail line. The station building still houses the headquarters for District 1 of the State Railways.

The station building, built in 1909 by the Anatolian Railway (CFOA) as the western terminus of the Baghdad and Hedjaz railways, has become a symbol of Istanbul and Turkey and is famous throughout the Middle East.[3]

Haydarpaşa is situated on an embankment over the Bosphorus just south of the Port of Haydarpaşa and is slightly north from central Kadıköy. Until the suspension of rail service, ferry service was available to Eminönü, Karaköy and Kadıköy from the station's ferry dock.

The closure of the station has been subject to a lot of controversy. As it was unclear if Haydarpaşa would be re-opened to rail service once the Marmaray project was completed. Claims that the Turkish government was planning to sell the historic railway station along with the port and turn it into a residence/luxury resort surfaced.[4][5][6] Following the closure, a publicly formed group known as The Haydarpaşa Solidarity (Turkish: Haydarpaşa Dayanışması) staged sit-ins every week in front of the station, protesting the closure.[7] In December 2015, the integration of Haydarpaşa station into the Marmaray network was approved along with the restoration and rehabilitation of the station building and platforms.[8] Ever since, Haydarpaşa was placed back on official railway maps for Istanbul.


Ottoman era (1872–1922)[edit]

İstanbul was the capital of the Ottoman Empire as well as the largest city in the empire. İstanbul was a major economic and cultural hub. However, İstanbul had no rail links, so in 1871 Sultan Abdülaziz ordered a rail line to be built from Haydarpaşa to İzmit.[9] Haydarpaşa station opened in 1872, when the railway reached Gebze. In 1888 the Anatolian Railway (CFOA) took over the line and the station. Since the station was built next to the Bosphorus, freight trains would unload at Haydarpaşa and the freight would be transferred to ships. Haydarpaşa station saw its first regular passenger service in 1890: a daily train from Haydarpaşa to İzmit.[9] In 1892 the CFOA built a line to Ankara and shortly after a daily train ran between the two cities.

Interior hall in Haydarpaşa Terminal

Haydarpaşa was chosen to be the northern terminus of the Baghdad Railway and the Hedjaz Railway in 1904, and, with rail traffic increasing, a new and larger building was required. The Anatolian Railway hired two German architects, Otto Ritter and Helmut Conu, to build the new building. They chose a neo-classical structure and construction started in 1906. Its foundation is based on 1100 wooden piles, each 21 metres long, driven into the mushy shore by a steam hammer. German and Italian stonemasons crafted the facade embellishments of the terminal. The German engineers and craftsmen who worked at the construction site of the building established a small German neighbourhood in the Yeldeğirmeni quarter of Kadıköy. The new pseudo-castle structure was completed on 19 August 1909. The new terminal was inaugurated on 4 November 1909 for the anniversary of Mehmed V.[9] The new terminal was built on land reclaimed from the sea. World War I broke out in 1914 and the Ottoman Empire sided with the Central Powers against the Allied Powers. The Ottomans lost and İstanbul was taken over by the British Empire. Haydarpaşa was under strong military control by the British during the occupation.

Republican era (1923–present)[edit]

Haydarpasa terminal in 2007
Intercity trains at Haydarpasa station in 2012.

The Turkish Independence War ended on 29 October 1923. The Republic of Turkey was formed and the British Empire withdrew from İstanbul. Haydarpaşa terminal was still under CFOA control but in 1927 the newly formed Turkish State Railways took over the CFOA and the terminal, in an attempt to nationalise all Turkish railways.[10] In 1927 the CIWL started a premier train service from Haydarpaşa to Ankara: the Anatolian Express. This all-sleeper train travelled daily between the two cities. In 1938 the Eastern Express entered service from Haydarpaşa to the eastern Turkish city of Kars, a distance of 1,994 km (1,239 mi).[11] With the completion of the Baghdad Railway to Baghdad, the famous Taurus Express entered service in 1940 from Haydarpaşa to Baghdad, a distance of 2,566 km (1,594 mi).[12] In 1965 the Trans-Asia Express entered service from Haydarpaşa to Tehran, a distance of 3,059 km (1,901 mi).[13] In 1969 the tracks from Haydarpaşa to Gebze were electrified with 25 kV AC catenary for the Haydarpaşa-Gebze Commuter Line.[10]

Haydarpaşa terminal after the fire that destroyed its roof in 2010

In 1979 a tanker burning on the Bosphorus damaged the terminal building, but it was restored a few months later. On 28 November 2010 a fire caused by carelessness during the building's restoration destroyed the roof and the 4th floor of the terminal building. Three people were sentenced to ten months in prison for "recklessly causing the fire".[14]

In 2011 the World Monuments Fund, the New York-based heritage preservation organization, placed the railway terminal on its 2012 Watch, drawing attention to the uncertain future of the historical site.[15] There are plans to transform the terminal building into a luxury hotel. In November 2012 the station was the site of a three-day art exhibit entitled "Haydarpasa: Past, Present and Uncertain Future", which was organised in collaboration with the WMF, and featured Canadian and Turkish artists and photographers, seeking to raise international interest in preserving the station as a vibrant public transportation hub. In October 2013 the same art event is to be held in Vienna in Austria also on the theme of heritage preservation.

Marmaray and upgrading works[edit]

Haydarpasa terminal in 2014
Haydarpaşa Terminal and Seraglio Point at the back.

On 2 February 2012 Haydarpaşa Railway Terminal temporarily closed to long-distance trains for at least 30 months to allow for the construction of the Istanbul–Ankara high-speed railway, and the Marmaray rail transport project which will connect Istanbul's Asian and European sides via an undersea commuter train line. There will be no train services between Istanbul and the Asian destinations of Turkey (with the sole exception of the suburban line to Pendik, a suburb 45 km east of Istanbul).[16] In April 2012 commuter service to Gebze was suspended past Pendik.[17] Finally, as announced by the Turkish State Railways, the only remaining train service from Haydarpaşa, the suburban line to Pendik, closed on 19 June 2013 for at least 24 months for line improvement works.


In 2018, remains of a Byzantine coastal town have been found during the restoration works of the Haydarapaşa railway station.[18] Furthermore, excavations unearthed a Byzantine-era fountain, a big fortification wall and a ceramic brick kiln.[19]

Also, dozens of graves have been unearthed during excavations. In October 2018, archaeologists found an intact skeleton, which has a scented necklace on it. In addition, coins and jewellery were found in the field. Some coins were so clean that their period can easily be seen. The coins date back to between 610-641 and 527-565 A.D.[19]

In addition, a podium was unearthed from among the railway platforms. The podium, which is made of sheared rectangular blocks, is believed to date back to the Hellenistic era.[19]


Due to construction of the Istanbul-Ankara high-speed railway and Marmaray, train services to Haydarpaşa have been temporarily suspended.

Turkish State Railways
Trans-Asian Express
Toward Tatvan Pier
Capital Express
Toward Eskişehir
Republic Express
Fatih Express
Toward Ankara
Ankara Express
Bosphorus Express
Anatolia Express
Eskişehir Express
Toward Eskişehir
Sakarya Express
Eastern Express
Toward Kars
Van Lake Express
Toward Tatvan
Southern Express
Toward Kurtalan
Meram Express
Toward Konya
Central Anatolia Blue Train
Toward Adana
Haydarpaşa-Adapazarı Regional
Toward Adapazarı
Haydarpaşa-Gebze Line
Toward Gebze


The nearby Haydarpaşa Campus of the Marmara University, originally built as the Imperial Medical School and designed by Alexander Vallaury and Raimondo D'Aronco.

There are tombs and monuments in the Haydarpaşa Cemetery near the military hospital, dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who lost their lives during the Crimean War (1854–1856) and during the two World Wars.

The north-west wing of the 19th-century Selimiye Barracks, which was transformed into a military hospital during the Crimean War, was the place where the nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale cared for wounded and infected British soldiers. Her room is today a museum, and her belongings are exhibited to honour her memory. The museum also contains other items which date from the Crimean War.

The buildings of the Haydarpaşa Numune Hospital, GATA Military Hospital, Dr. Siyami Ersek Hospital and the present-day Haydarpaşa Campus of the Marmara University (the former Haydarpaşa High School, which was originally built as the Mekteb-i Tıbbiye-i Şahane (Imperial Medical School) and designed by architects Alexander Vallaury and Raimondo D'Aronco) are located close to the terminal.

The Port of Haydarpaşa at the north is one of the main container terminals of Turkey.

Public transport links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Haydarpaşa Train Station Restoration Work Has Ended". 8 February 2021.
  2. ^ "Haydarpaşa Garı'yla ilgili önemli gelişme: Sona gelindi".
  3. ^ Haydarpaşa Station History - Trains and Railways of Turkey
  4. ^ Haydarpasa Port Geldi, Gozde Haydarpasa kentvedemiryolu.com
  5. ^ Haydarpasa Port onaylandi
  6. ^ Haydarpasa ne olacak? - kentvedemiryolu.com
  7. ^ "Haydarpaşa Garı'nın 10 Yıllık Mücadelesi". bianet.org (in Turkish). Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Haydarpaşa'da Restorasyon Başlıyor". gazetekadikoy.com.tr (in Turkish). 10 December 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  9. ^ a b c CFOA History - Trains and Railways of Turkey
  10. ^ a b TCDD History - Trains and Railways of Turkey
  11. ^ The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Steam and Rail - By Colin Garrat and Max Wade-Matthews, page 401
  12. ^ The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Steam and Rail - By Colin Garrat and Max Wade-Matthews, page 396
  13. ^ The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Steam and Rail - By Colin Garrat and Max Wade-Matthews, page 403
  14. ^ "Istanbul court sentences three people in Haydarpaşa Station fire case - LOCAL". Hürriyet Daily News | LEADING NEWS SOURCE FOR TURKEY AND THE REGION. Retrieved 2017-09-03.
  15. ^ Haydarpaşa Railway Station WMF Program: 2012 Watch - World Monuments Fund
  16. ^ Haydarpasa closed for restoration after 104 years Archived 2012-02-05 at the Wayback Machine - PortTurkey.com
  17. ^ TCDD Official Site Archived 2010-08-14 at the Wayback Machine - Haydarpaşa commuter train timetables
  18. ^ Archaeological remains from Byzantine era found during restoration of historic Istanbul station
  19. ^ a b c Intact skeleton found in Haydarpaşa train station excavations

External links[edit]