Touristic Eastern Express set to be back on tracks
The Touristic Eastern Express that runs from Ankara to the eastern province of Kars will resume operations, which were halted in March 2020, in December.
The train will depart from Ankara on Dec. 15, said Transport Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu in a written statement.
“The Touristic Eastern Express will set off from Ankara to Kars on Wednesdays and Fridays and from Kars to Ankara on Fridays and Sundays. The number of services and the number of cars to be put in service will depend on demand. It will only have sleeping and dining cars,” the minister added.
Karaismailoğlu noted that the Touristic Eastern Express’ Ankara-Kars route is considered one of the four best train routes in the world.
“Passengers enjoy the delightful foods served while enjoying the impressive natural and historic sightseeing along the way,” he added.
The train runs 1,310 kilometers between Ankara and Kars in a journey which takes more than 30 hours.
On its way, the Touristic Eastern Express travels through and makes stops at the Central Anatolian provinces of Erzurum, Erzincan and Sivas, as well as the districts of Divriği and İliç for three hours.
“With those three-hour long stops, the train offers opportunity to travelers to explore cultural sites and natural wonders on its path, such as the Karanlık Canyon, the Ani Archeological site and Divriği Great Mosque,” said Karaismailoğlu.
The Touristic Eastern Express was put in service in May 2019 for the first time in cooperation between the Transport Ministry, Tourism and Culture Ministry and the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) to promote tourism activity.
However, the very popular train was forced to halt operations in mid-March last year due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Since May 2019, the Touristic Eastern Express has served some 37,000 travelers.