Sunday, November 13, 2011

Trains and Trams in Turkey

Hi, My wife, Ruthe, and I visited Turkey from October 18 through November 3.  Our tour began in Istanbul and ended in Ankara, the capital.  During our trip I had three opportunities to photograph rail activity.

The first opportunity was in Istanbul.  This is a huge city with a population of 17 million.  To say it is crowded would be an understatement and, as you might guess, the traffic is horrendous.  They have excellent public transportation, including several tram routes, one of which we used to get around as we spent the first 2 days of our visit on our own.  At its north or east end this line connects with a funicular.

The funicular runs underground from the tram up to Taksim Square station, which was only a short walk from our hotel.  The cars look very much like modern tram bodies.

A historic trolley runs about a mile from Taksim Square down a pedestrian mall through an upscale shopping area.  The mall was filled with people.

Although it is a pedestrian mall, some vehicles could gain access.

Although I could reach the railroad station by tram easily, time constraints prevented me from doing so.

My next opportunity was in the city of Izmir with a population of 3.3 million.  There were no trams to photograph but the railroad station was accessible and I had a beautiful afternoon to walk over to it.  A small tank engine is on display at the station entrance.

Inside on display was an 0-8-0 switcher.

A water column still stands between 2 of the station tracks.

Commuter train activity was very frequent.

Two different classes of equipment are in use.

Three switchers were working the section of the station reserved for long distance trains.  According to the builder's plate they were constructed by Asea Brown Bovari.  The locomotives are the same style as Alco C-415s.

At 4:15 PM a long distance train arrived.

The road locomotives had Alsthom builders plates.

The final city I had an opportunity to photograph rail action in was Antalya.  This is the smallest city I photographed in with a population of slightly over 1 million.  It has no rail service and 2 tram lines that don't really connect although they pass each other at the corner shown below.  One tram line is a modern light rail operation.  A number of the cars are wrapped with advertisements.  Ruthe and I rode this line from downtown to its suburban terminus just for fun.

The interior of the cars is unobstructed from end to end.

On the other line historic trams consisting of a powered car and a trailer are used.  I rode this line from end to end.  Part of its route skirts the old town area and runs along a park overlooking the harbor.

I did not try to railfan in Ankara as we had only one day there and it rained most of the day.  I'll post a selection of other photos from the places we visited soon.  Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy these.

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