In 1856, the Ottoman government decided to build a railway to transport commodities produced in the western province of Aydın to the port city of İzmir. The laying down of some 130 kilometers of tracks was completed in 1866 – and the train has been chugging along ever since.
For the last 153 years, the train shuffling between Aydın and İzmir has offered voyagers a unique glimpse of Turkey's Aegean region. The train has carried around 10,000 people daily.
The train leaves from Aydın, stopping at 15 locations before arriving at the port city after a two-hour journey which allows passengers to remark on the stunning beauty of the Aegean region.
Yaşar Özyaman, a regular commuter on the Aydın-İzmir line, claims the rail is the most exhilarating way to travel: "Over the course my journeys, I get to enjoy how the seasons change and witness the joys of Mother Nature. I have been riding this train for years and it never gets dull."
“It is a comfortable and cheap way to travel,” said Abdullah Binici, who works in Aydın but goes to İzmir several times a week for his master’s studies. “I can study and read my favorite books on the train. Sometimes I even meet new people. This two-hour train ride can change a man’s life.”
İnci Bozkurt, on the other hand, has an affection for the Aydın-İzmir line out of a sense of pure nostalgia. “I can drive to İzmir, sure, but I enjoy riding the train. It is very nostalgic. I might arrive at my destination a little bit later, but the joy I get from this journey is incomparable. This train route will always be my favorite," he said.