Eastern Express became so popular that people trying to reach eastern Turkey by train can no longer find tickets. A new train will be put into service solely for the purpose of tourism.
The Eastern Express travels from Ankara to eastern Kars province and became extremely popular after people started sharing photos of the scenery on social media.
Noting that it is almost impossible to find tickets for the Eastern Express. Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said that they will put into service a new train for tourism purposes. The minister boarded the Eastern Express in Erzurum and headed to Kars. As he told reporters train reveals eastern Turkey’s tourism potential. He noted that talks being held with the Minister of Transport Cahit Turhan to organize an alternative train service. It will enable more people to travel to the east and enjoy the beauties of the region. The new train service will also aim to meet the demands and expectations of international tourists.
According to official data from State Railways, the Eastern Express carried 14,165 passengers in the first few months of the winter last year. The seats booked as soon as tickets go on sale and the extra wagons that added to the express cannot cover demand. The express was on the verge of closure due to lack of interest but now has helped boost tourism in Kars.
Before the popularity of the express, the average age of passengers was 50. But now, university students are the biggest group.
Photographers and videographers are frequent passengers, as the experience provides a wealth of landscapes and vistas, especially during wintertime. For those seeking to be dazzled by a winter wonderland, January and February are ideal times for travel.
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 Çıldır Lake in Kars.
According Daily Sabah