The Doğu Ekspresi (Eastern Express) runs between Ankara and Kars.
The eastbound train departs Ankara daily at 18:00 (6:00 pm), and arrives the following day in Kars at 18:29 (6:29 pm)—over 24 hours of train travel.
The westbound train departs Kars at 07:45 am and arrives in Ankara the next day at 08:05 am.
The train hauls Pullman cars, couchette cars, sleeping cars and a dining car.
Stops along the way include Kayseri, Sivas, Divriği, Erzincan, Palandöken, Erzurum, Hasankale, Horasan, Sarıkamış and Kars.
Newer, more comfortable and modern equipmenthas been put on this train in recent years so that the journey, though long, is far more comfortable than it was a decade ago.
All the same, this is among Turkey’s slowest trains. You might want to consider a plane from Ankara (1-1/2 hours), or a bus (12 hours).
Please read this safety notice about sleeping car travel.
—by Tom Brosnahan