Istanbul-Sofia train service suspended due to COVID-19

Turkish railway authority temporarily stops international passenger train operating daily between Istanbul and Sofia

Ayse Bocuoglu Bodur   | 11.03.2020
Istanbul-Sofia train service suspended due to COVID-19


Rail service between Istanbul, Turkey and Bulgaria’s capital Sofia has been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) announced on Wednesday.

The Istanbul-Sofia Express normally operates daily between the two cities.

The railway authority continues to take various measures to stem the spread of coronavirus, officially known also COVID-19, the statement added.

Turkey disinfects all of its train cars – on both conventional and high-speed lines – after their daily service.

Some 23,000 daily passengers are carried on Turkish high-speed trains, 45,000 on conventional trains, 430,000 via the Marmaray – from Istanbul's Asian side to its European side beneath the Strait – and 39,000 on Baskentray, operating in the capital Ankara.

Passenger and freight train service – as well as air travel ­– between Turkey and Iran has been suspended since last month.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the coronavirus has spread to six continents and more than 100 countries.

The global death toll from the virus is now nearly 4,300 with more than 118,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization.

*Writing by Tuba Sahin

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