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It's long-term future is in doubt, it may become a museum, and it may or may not lose its train tracks.It is possible that the mainline international trains will permanently terminate at Halkali, although once the project is complete you'll be able to use a suburban train between Halkali and a new underground station in central Istanbul near Sirkeci.Slightly different arrangements have applied at different times, but this page should reflect what is currently happening, with trains running to Halkali, a suburban station 25km west of central Istanbul, with free bus transfer to Istanbul Sirkeci station...Sadly, Istanbul's historic Sirkeci station was permanently closed to mainline trains as from 1 March 2013, to allow lines to be rebuilt in connection with the Marmara Tunnel project.Yet it's also an epic 2,000 mile 3 or 4-night adventure, rediscovering some of the mystery, intrigue and romance of long-distance train travel through the Balkans.On this page you'll find an easy step-by-step guide to planning, booking & making a train journey between London or Paris and Istanbul, one-way or return, eastbound or westbound, with schedules, fares, what the journey is like, suggested stopovers and how to buy tickets. London-Paris-Munich-Budapest-Bucharest-Istanbul London-Paris-Munich-Belgrade-Sofia-Istanbul Video guide: London to Istanbul by train...The train soon leaves the Paris suburbs behind and speeds across a vast wide open plateau of woods and farmland at up to 200mph, past picturesque French villages of the Champagne region.After an hour or two, the train leaves the high-speed line and slowly meanders through pretty wooded hills, the countryside eventually flattening out towards Strasbourg.
This section explains the train times, the cost, what the trains and the journey are like, and how to arrange tickets.
Couchettes are fairly basic, and a proper bed in the sleeper is much more comfortable and secure yet costs very little extra, so is the recommended option.
There's a modern Romanian restaurant car serving dinner and a cooked breakfast, but taking some supplies of your own is always a good idea.
Sit back with a glass of red and enjoy the ride - book an upper deck seat for the best views.
The train has power sockets for laptops & mobiles at all seats in both classes, and a cafe-bar serves drinks, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.