The Turkish State Railway (TCDD) will inaugurate a second Eastern Express on May 29, 8 p.m. to meet excessive demands, Transport and Infrastructure Cahit Turhan announced.
The second train will be introduced for touristic purposes only and will carry passengers between the capital Ankara and Kars. The journey takes 27 hours and the train will accommodate a total of 120 passengers. The 1,300-kilometer route of the Eastern Express has seen a huge demand thanks to the picturesque landscape it travels through. As a result, the Culture and Tourism Ministry, with the consultation of the tourism sector, decided to launch a nine-car train for touristic purposes only. Before the newfound popularity, the average age of passengers on the train was 50, but now most passengers are university students.
Photographers and videographers are also among frequent travelers, as the route provides a wealth of landscapes and vistas, especially during the winter. For those looking to be dazzled by a winter wonderland, January and February are the ideal months for travel on the Eastern Express. After leaving Ankara, the train makes brief stops in the eastern cities of Kırıkkale, Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan and Erzurum before reaching Kars. At the end of the trip, passengers stretch their legs – or take a sleigh ride – on the frozen Lake Çıldır in Kars.