The Touristic Eastern Express, which was realized in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, was sent off for the first time on May 29, 2019, at the Ankara Station.
Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy stated in his speech at the ceremony, that they want to expand and diversify tourism in all provinces, and for this, they will create new routes by means of the Touristic Van Lake and the Touristic Diyarbakır expresses.
Deputy Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Selim Dursun noted that they believe that the investments in the railways will make Turkey a world brand.
Director General of TCDD Ali İhsan Uygun said that railways have been growing and developing through the transportation policies that give the top priority to rail transport implemented since 2003.
Director General Erol Arıkan: 16 million people were served
Director General of TCDD Transportation Erol Arıkan stated in his speech that there has been a demand boom in the Eastern Express, which has served 16 million people between Ankara and Kars since 1949, as an alternative, the Touristic Eastern Express was launched. Stating that the express offers the opportunity to visit historical and touristic places on the track, Arıkan said that the train will stop at Erzincan, İliç, and Erzurum in the direction of Kars; it will stop at Sivas / Divriği and Bostankaya stations in the direction of Ankara; travel time is 32 hours.
The ticket price for the train, which consists of sleeping and dining cars, was determined as 400 TL for one person in one compartment and 250 TL per person for two people in one compartment.