New wagons to roll on Eastern Express as demand skyrockets: Transport minister
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkish Transportation Minister Ahmet Arslan said on Dec. 31 that a surge in demand for seats on the Eastern Express, a train service that links Ankara with the Eastern province of Kars, could mean adding more wagons to the line.
Arslan also expressed his pleasure in the route’s success. “We are pleased with this interest and our citizens are also satisfied. We are pleased that our people prefer to travel by rail again. Our people have rediscovered trains,” he said.
Arslan also said they had renewed the lines and the trains and that passengers had begun to prefer the train because of the extra comfort of the journey.
“After the opening of many five stars hotels, our people have started to go to Kars. They travel with spectacular views of winter and nature. Interest in the Eastern Express has dramatically increased,” he added.
He also said they were focused on solving space-shortage related problems.
“Locomotives on Eastern Express trains typically carry nine wagons. Increasing the number of wagons per locomotive enables our passengers to find tickets. Since the sale began, we are pleased to say that people have been able buy tickets in just a few seconds,” he added.
The Eastern Express sets off from the Ankara Train Station every day for Kars via provinces such as Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan and Erzurum and arrives at its destination 24 hours and 30 minutes later. Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 18, 271,120 people took the train from Ankara to Kars. The Eastern Express features seated coaches, couchette coaches and sleeping coaches with toilets, a minibar and a table.
The train has become the new tourist attraction in Turkey in recent months.
The popularity of the destination among both domestic and international tourists has resulted in a shortage of tickets.