‘Touristic’ Eastern Express to travel to Kars
Transportation Minister Cahit Turhan has said that following joint efforts with Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy the “Touristic Eastern Express” will leave Ankara for Kars at 8 p.m. on May 29.
“The Touristic Eastern Express will have a capacity of 120 passengers,” Turhan said.
“The train, which will have only sleeping coaches, will travel the Ankara-Kars route in 27 hours,” he added.
Turhan noted that the Eastern Express, which was put into service on May 15, 1949 by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD), travels the 1,300-kilometer route in approximately 25 hours, stooping at 53 stations along the way.
“The demand to be on the Eastern Express, which operates on one of the most beautiful train routes in the world, has been steadily on the rise,” the minister said.
“Especially young people, nature enthusiasts and groups who want to take photographs enjoy high quality service at reasonable prices.”
As a result of the efforts carried out by the ministry to increase the interest in the Eastern Express, the travels are widely shared on social media and the journey is seen as an extraordinary holiday option, Turhan said, adding that the increased demand for tickets led to the planning of a new train service.
The ‘Touristic’ Eastern Express, which is expected to support local tourism, will have long stops in Erzincan’s Kemaliye district and Erzurum on the way to Kars and Divriği and Bostankaya district of Sivas on the way back to allow the passengers to spend some time at those destinations, the minister noted.
Nearly 320,000 passengers took the Eastern Express in 2017, a 40 percent increase from the previous year, according to TCDD.