One of Turkey’s oldest train routes, the Eastern Express provides picturesque views for its passengers with the arrival of autumn.
Foreign tourists and university students in particular have been showing a lot of interest in the route in recent years. The Eastern Express train, managed by Turkish State Railways, start from Ankara and ends at the eastern city of Kars within an average of 25 hours passing through Kırıkkale, Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan and Erzurum provinces.
The route includes views of creeks, rivers, mountains and canyons as well as forests and flower fields.
One passenger on the train, university student İrem Ayebe says travelling with the Eastern Express is especially beautiful during autumn months. “I have traveled using the Eastern Express during winter as well but the beauty of this autumn journey is something else. Even though we are students, we wanted to use the October 29 Republic Day for this trip. The beauty is unspeakable, it’s like something out of a fairy tale. You can only experience it to understand. I recommend this train journey to everyone” she said.
As the route gained popularity over recent years, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure coordinated with the Ministry of Tourism to create a “touristic route” on the line which has been running since May.
The touristic Eastern Express has a capacity of 120 passengers, all on sleeping cars. It stops at the Erzincan, İliç and Erzurum stations on the way to Kars, Divriği and Bostankaya stations on its way back to Ankara. Stopping times are arranged so that passengers can enjoy the sites and museums near the stations.
The journey costs 400 Turkish lira for a single-person section and 250 Turkish lira for a 2-person section.
The train departs from Ankara at 19:55 and at 23:55 from Kars every two days.
Due to excessive demand, it is recommended to purchase tickets months in advance. The re-sale of tickets over the internet can go up to 2 thousand Turkish lira.