The high speed train service in Turkey, between Konya and Istanbul, was inaugurated on 17 December 2014. The inauguration ceremony held in Konya was attended by H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, together with H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkish Prime Minister and H.E. Lütfi Elvan, Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications.
After Ankara-Eskişehir (13 March 2009), the first high speed railway line in Turkey, the second Ankara-Konya (24 August 2011) and Eskişehir-Konya (23 March 2013), commercial services between Ankara-Eskişehir-İstanbul began on 25 July 2014. The total number of passengers carried by high speed train on those aforementioned lines between the years 2009 – 2014 reached 18 million.
Having started the high speed train services between Konya and Istanbul, the total travel time between Konya and Istanbul by bus was reduced from 10 – 11 hours to approximately to four hours 15 minutes by train.
The length of the line between Konya and Istanbul is 631 km. The high speed train sets will operate two services a day in both directions.
The city of Konya was historically the capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate and Jalal al-Din Rumi “Mevlâna”, the founder of the Sufi Mevlevi order (known for the Whirling Dervishes), spent the last fifty years of his life in Konya where his tomb is located. It goes without saying that Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country’s economic, cultural, and historical heart with its 14 million inhabitants. Both cities Istanbul and Konya, which have played a central role as a cradle for many civilisations throughout the history, are unique centres that combine historical and cultural heritage with the present day.