For tens of thousands of tourists visiting Turkey, the nostalgic Eastern Express operated by TCDD (Turkey’s State Railways) runs from Ankara to Kars covering an approximately 1,000 km route to include towns such as Kırıkkale, Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan and Erzurum in 25 hours. On this service passengers enjoy an unforgettable experience throughout the line. They witness the beautiful nature of Anatolia and try the delightful tastes from the Turkish cuisine.
When this service first started it did not draw much attention. But in time and mostly in recent years the train became highly popular especially among university students and thanks to the power of social media too it soon started to attract tourists from every age, group and country. It is reported that January and February are ideal times for travel, particularly for those wishing to enjoy beautiful landscapes.
Most recently the Ministry of Tourism has decided to run a second train mainly for tourism purposes to share the same route with Eastern Express to help with the excessive demand from local and foreign tourists and the difficulty to find tickets.
The new train (touristic service) will depart from Ankara to Kars on May 29 at 20:00. This train will have sleepers only with one service each day. It is reported that the prices will be more expensive than the regular Eastern Express.
The train will offer facilities such as 4-seater pullman wagons, 4-seater couchette wagons and sleeper cars with toilets, refrigerators and tables. This step aims to meet part of the intense demand from travelers.
This new service is expected to have a capacity of 120 people. The train, which will consist of sleeper wagons only, will complete the Ankara-Kars course in 27 hours. During said route, the train will stop in Kemaliye and Erzurum of Erzincan and at the Divrigi and Bostankaya stations of Sivas (on the return journey) for longer periods.
As for ticket prices, the Ministry of Transport is expected to fix a price round TL 400 for the new service.