Eastern Express Ankara/Kars Turkey

Türkiye’s Eastern Express takes you on a journey with stunning landscapes and is one of the most popular vacation ideas, especially in winter.  It is an experience rather than being merely a means of transportation!

This year the touristic railway will start taking passengers in December and will include a total of 84 journeys in the new season.

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloğlu stated that “the touristic Eastern Express will operate three times a week starting from December. It will run from Ankara between Dec. 11 and March 8 and from [the eastern province of] Kars between Dec. 13 and March 10”.

He also added that “departures from Ankara will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while departures from Kars will take place on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. This season, the Eastern Express will complete a total of 84 journeys, with 42 in the Ankara-Kars direction and 42 in the Kars-Ankara direction”.

It is a wonderful feeling to observe the geography changing step by step, passing through canyons and villages and has been claimed as one of the world’s top four impressive routes.

The train consists of eight sleeper cars and one dining car, with a capacity to accommodate 160 passengers.

This season, a variable pricing policy has been introduced for the Tourist Eastern Express, taking into consideration economic conditions, operational costs, and demand, instead of a fixed pricing system, Uraloğlu noted.

Along its route, the express will make approximately three-hour stops in Erzincan and Erzurum in the Ankara-to-Kars direction and in İliç, Divriği, and Sivas in the Kars-to-Ankara direction, allowing passengers to explore the historical and touristic sites.

Uraloğlu also pointed out that apart from the Eastern Express, his ministry is open to supporting potential tourism-oriented trains on new domestic routes through collaboration with the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, various civil society organizations, travel agencies, and relevant institutions.

The 1,300-kilometer-long route lasts around 30 hours. The Eastern Express made its first journey of the 2022-2023 season in December 2022. The Eastern Express became extremely popular after people started sharing photos of the scenery on social media. The huge interest in the experience made the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) put a new train into service on the same line solely for tourism after it became so popular that people trying to reach eastern Türkiye by train could no longer find tickets.

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