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C h r o n o l o g y

1858: Smyrna - Aidin Railway opened.
1860: Euphrates and Tigris Steam Navigation Co. by Lynch.
1892: Istanbul - Ankara completed by CFOA, a German initiative.
1892: Jaffa - Jerusalem, meter gauge.
1892: Baku - Tbilisi completed, 1900 to Kars, 1908 to Djulfa, Iran.
1899: Merw - Kushka completed, project Russian - Indian Ocean.
1903: foundation of the Société Impériale Ottomane du Chemin de fer de Bagdad (Bagdadbahn), connected with the CFOA.
1905: Cyprus Government Railway Famagusta - Nicosia, 2 ft 6 in gauge, with a "boat-train". Closed down in 1952.
1908: Hedjaz railway Damascus - Madinah, 1.05 m gauge.
1911: Kurier St. Petersburg - Moscow - Kislovodsk/ - Baku - Batumi, later Leningrad - Baku - Tbilisi with an ex-CIWL sleeper.
1914: Baghdad - Samara by Bagdadbahn
1916: Aden railway, until 1929
1917: German military railway, gauge 0.60m, on the Taurus. There had been various allied military railways in the Middle East.
1918: First train Nusaybin - Istanbul
1918: Palestine Military Railway Egypt - Haifa.
1918: Zahedan (Iran) connected by rail with India, no connection to the West; 1932 -1942 interrupted.
1920: Meter-gauge Baghdad - Basra.
1920: "Cairo Express" Haifa - Kantara East with a CIWL sleeper, connecting with train Port Said - Kantara West - Cairo, with CIWL diner and later Pullman.
1921: Kabul - Darulaman, the only railway in Afghanistan.
1924: First CIWL WL Istanbul - Ankara.
c. 1924: Hedjaz railway to Arabia destroyed, but International Train Damascus - Amman started.
1926: WL CIWL Istanbul - Konya - Adana extended to Alep.
1927: Turkish railways TCDD.
1927: All-sleeper Anatolie-Express Istanbul Haidarpasa - Ankara by CIWL, initially teak cars.
1928: WL extended to Tripoli, with fourgon-cuisine, and to Rayak.
1930: Taurus-Express (Toros Ekspresi) introduced, with blue CIWL sleepers and Turkish coaches Istanbul Haidarpasa - Nusaybin and Rayak motorcar connections to Kirkuk and to Haifa, connecting with the Cairo-Express Haifa - Kantara East.
1933: Chemin de fer Bozanti - Alep - Nissibine succeeded by Cenup Demiryollari (1937 TCDD) and Lignes Syriennes de Bagdad (1945 DHP, then CES).
1933: Taurus-Express to Tripoli, 1935 to Telkotchek (El Yaroubich), 1939 to Mosul
1935: Taurus-Express via Ankara instead of Konya.
1935: De Dietrich railcar Alep - Tripoli.
1938: Trans-Iranian railway Bandar Shapur-Tehran-Bandar shah.
1940: Taurus-Express to Baghdad, connection to Basrah, British India Line steamers to India.
1942: Cairo-Express Haifa - Cairo
1945: All-sleeper Ankara-Express Istanbul - Ankara, blue CIWL cars, later blue Turkish sleepers.
1945: Tuapse - Samtrediya completed, the direct Link Russia - Georgia.
1947: Taurus-Express with a sleeping-car Istanbul - Beirut. End of the train Haifa - Cairo.
1948: Last Cenup section to TCDD.
1948: Foundation of Israel Railways.
1948: Train Rafa -. Kantara East, initially with CIWL WL.
1951: Railway Dammam - Riyadh.
1953: Trains Haifa - Tel Aviv.
1954: Taurus-Express (Toros Ekspresi) also Istanbul - Gaziantep, 1956 also Iskenderun.
1956: Sinai war, 1957 Egyptian train Gaza - Cairo (until the war of 1967).
1959: Soviet sleeper Moscow - Djulfa, connecting 1st class Djulfa - Tehran.
1960: Taurus - Express also Istanbul - Gaziantep - Baghdad, in combination with existing Taurus-Express Istanbul - Alep - Baghdad.
1963 or 64: Sleeper Moscow - Akhurian, from 1967 by express "Druzhba" Moscow - Yerevan, from 1978 to Dogukapi, TCDD train to Kars.
1966: International Train Damascus - Amman (?).
1968: Trains Baghdad - Basra standard gauge.
1969: Taurus-Express temporarily diverted via Malatya.
1971: Taurus-Express Istanbul - Gaziantep - Baghdad in addition to the existing service Istanbul - Aleppo - Baghdad (until 1976) and Istanbul - Beirut (in 1972 confined to Aleppo). In 1970 Istanbul - Basrah had been announced.
1971: Vangolu Ekspresi Istanbul - Tehran, initially with change of trains at Lake Van. Van-Tabriz combined with freight, stopped in 1980 or 81.
1972: WL CIWL taken over by TCDD.
1973: Soviet RIC sleeping car Moscow - Djulfa - Tehran, stopped in 1980, then resumed for a short time.
1973: Lattakia - Alep completed.
1977: Taurus-Express no longer to Baghdad.
1980: Service Alep - Dayr az Zawr - Qamichli (Kamechlie) - Baghdad, then interrupted.
1982: Service Turkey - Baghdad, then interrupted.
1982: Soviet broad gauge to Hairatan, Afghanistan.
1983: Ankara Ekspresi Istanbul - Ankara, exclusively sleepers and diner.
1983: Taurus-Express Istanbul - Gaziantep now with a branch to Aleppo.
1983: Trains via Homs to Damascus.
1983: International Train Damascus - Amman interrupted.
1988: Taurus-Express Istanbul - Gaziantep via Konya (c. 1998 temporarily interrupted east of Adana).
1989: Gaziantep Mavi Istanbul - Gaziantep.
1990: Train Damascus - Amman, later with change of trains at Deraa.
1993: IC3 diesel multiple units from Denmark on Israel Railways.
1995: Bafq - Bandar Abbas completed, trains Tehran - Bandar Abbas.
1996: Mashhad - Tedzhen (Turkmenistan) completed, trains Mashhad - Sarakhs (border).
2000: Van - Tehran service resumed, Transasya Ekspresi Istanbul - Tatvan, Van - Tehran.
2001: Train Damascus - Fevzipasa - Malatya - Tatvan, Van - Tehran.
2001: Trans Asian Express see chapter 306
2001: Taurus-Express Istanbul - Gaziantep now with a branch Istanbul -– Syria.
2001: Train Gaziantep - Baghdad reportedly with a branch Damascus - Alep - Dayr az Zawr - Qamishli - Baghdad.
2003: Train Tehran - Mashhad - Bukhara announced.
2003: Iraq war, after the war in Iraq only Baghdad – Basrah.
2009: First section of the high-speed line Istanbul – Ankara opened, conceived for train sets from CAF.
2011 or 2012: Bosporus Tunnel expected.

Gauge: Standard gauge, Hedjaz and Aqaba 1.05m, Baghdad - Basrah initially 1m, Russia 1524/1520 mm, Zahedan - India 5ft 6in.



Middle East at the end of the 20th century




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