How To Travel On The Dogu Express Turkey

How To Travel On The Dogu Express Turkey
The Ultimate Guide To Travelling On The Dogu Express Turkey

Dogu Express Travel Guide

Travelling On The Dogu Express (Kars - Ankara)

The Dogu Express, or Eastern Express travels between Ankara and Kars and in my opinion it is one of this worlds great train trips travelling 1310km across Turkey.

The Dogu Express first journey was in 1936 and originated in Istanbul now it starts and finishes in Ankara with a fast train connecting Ankara and Kars.

Since May 2019 Turkish Rail have run 2 different types of Dogu Express.

The Dogu Express

Designed more for the commuter.
Faster – 24 hours
Pullman seats, 4 berth cabins
More stops

The Touristic Dogu Express 

Designed for travellers
Slower 30 hours+
Stops at significant points of interest
Has longer stops allowing people to get off and visits sites.
2 berth sleeping compartments.

If you’re a traveller I would recommend the Touristic Dogu Express as it gives a fantastic experience and we were able to get off and see some sights that really are in the middle of nowhere.

Difference Between The Dogu Express & Touristic Dogu Express

The Dogu Touristic Express 

The Dogu Express 

Distance: 1310KM

Travel Time: 30 Hours (although usually runs up to 3 hours late)

Tickets: Can By On line at Turkish Rail 30 Days Prior To Departure

Reservation Required: Yes

Dining Car: Yes But Limited

Carriages: 2 Berth Sleepers. 

Sleeper Facilities: Mini Fridge, Bed Linen, Sink, Power Outlet

Locomotive: Diesel

Operated By: TCDD Tasimacilik

Distance: 1310KM

Travel Time: 24Hours

Tickets: Can By On line at XXXX 30 Days Prior To Departure

Reservation Required: Yes

Dining Car: Yes But Limited

Carriages: Pullman seats, 4 Berth Sleepers. 

Sleeper Facilities: Bed Linen, Sink, Power Outlet

Locomotive: Diesel

Operated By: TCDD Tasimacilik

Where To Buy Tickets

Internet 

Mobile App Store or Google Play

Call Center 444 82 33 (English available)

Ticket Offices Train Stations, tourism agencies, PTT

Where To Buy Tickets

Internet 

Mobile App Store or Google Play

Call Center 444 82 33 (English available)

Ticket Offices Train stations, tourism agencies, PTT

Ticket Prices

Sleeper For 2 – 250TL

Sleeper For1 – 400TL

Ticket Prices

Pullman Seat – 40TL **

Couchette in 4 berth cabin – 64TL**

Main stations this train is calling at:

Ankara

Divrigi

Erzincan

Erzurum

Kars

Main stations this train is calling at:

Ankara

Kayseri

Sivas

Cetinkaya

Erzincan

Erzurum

Kars

Timetable

Ankara – Kars: 

Monday, Wednesday & Friday

Departs Ankara Gar @ 16:55

Kars – Ankara

Wednesday, Friday & Sunday @ 23.55

Timetable

Everyday

Ankara – Kars 

Departs Ankara @ 18:00

Kars – Ankara

Departs Kars @  08:00

How To Buy Tickets On The Dogu Express

Ways To Buy A Ticket On The Dogu Express

Tickets go on sale 30 days prior to departure.

Via the APP

This is how I booked and found it really simple, not only could I buy tickets but I also had my tickets stored online. You can download the APP from the Turkey Rail Site or search EYBIS in the APP store.

Once you have downloaded the APP you need to create an account and then you can buy your tickets.

You can select your carriage (vagon) and what type of ticket you want – Pullman seat, 2 Berth Sleeper or 4 Berth Sleepers from the drop-down at the top of the page.

When selecting placements you must indicate male/female and you need to enter your passport details.

Tickets are emailed to the email address listed in your account.

Buy Tickets Online

Log on to Turkish Rail

Create an account and then you can purchase your tickets

As above you can select your carriage (vagon) and what type of ticket you want – Pullman seat, 2 Berth Sleeper or 4 Berth Sleepers from the drop-down at the top of the page.

When selecting placements you must indicate male/female and you need to enter your passport details.

Tickets are emailed to the email address listed in your account.

Buy Tickets Through An Agent

If you are not comfortable purchasing tickets online you can purchase through an agent. We have used Turkish Travel Agent AmberTravel to book other tickets and we have found them to be excellent.

You can also purchase tickets at Train Stations and some Post Offices View Here 

Telephone: 444 82 33 (English available)

Travelling On The Touristic Dogu Express

Kars Station

We caught the train from Kars to Ankara and arrived at the Kars Gari about an hour before the train departed to find the station slowly waking up and preparing for the Touristic Dogu Express. The Kars Station has a small shop where you can buy water and other basics.

The ticket office was open and tickets could be bought prior to departure.

What To Take On The Touristic Dogu Express

When we travelled on the Touristic Dogu Express the dining car had very limited food. We were able to buy tea, cold drinks and dried goods such as biscuits, crisp etc but no meals and definitely no alcohol.

Hot water is not available in carriages as it is on the Russian Trains.

I strongly recommend that you take some basic food items so you don’t go hungry. The compartments all have mini fridges so you can keep goods cold. We took items such as tuna, olives, cheese, crackers etc. We also had several bottles of water and some wine.

Our stop in Divrigi was around lunchtime so we were able to get a delicious lunch there and buy some beer for our onward journey.

The train was meant to stop at Sivas at dinner time however due to track work it stopped at a station before that with no amenities at all so thank goodness for the canned tuna

On Board The Train

The Dogu Express is very comfortable and one of my favourite trains I have travelled on.

Our two berth cabin had a large seat which turned into a bed and the top bunk folded down to create two bunk beds. The linen was clean and crisp and we arrived in the cabin to find our beds beautiful made.

We had a mini fridge, sink and cupboard to store small items plus power outlets where we could charge our devices. The power outlets take the European 2 point plugs. In the mini fridge was water, juice, biscuits and a chocolate bar.

The are toilets at each end, in this case a western toilet at one end and a squat at the other (which I avoided!) The toilets were kept beautifully clean throughout the journey.

Each carriage has a carriage attendant who keeps everything clean and tidy and ensures you know how long each station stop is.

Where The Touristic Dogu Express Stops 

The Touristic Dogu Express stops multiple times throughout its meander across Turkey however the two major stops were

Divrigi – stops for 2.5 hours 

A tiny town on the banks of the Çaltısuyu river with ancient ottoman houses and the home to the 780 years old UNESCO listed Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital.

Bostankaya – stops for 3 hours

Not much here really but it is about 28 km from the town of Sivas a mid-size town which has a number of examples of 13th-century Seljuk architecture.

Touristic Dogu Express Scenery 

DROP . DEAD . GORGEOUS

The journey from Kars to Ankara took us from high altitude alpine meadows, across vast plains with tumbling rivers and through huge canyons with ancient ruined castles perched high on the distant hills. It was stunning and incredibly varied scenery.

Arriving In Ankara

The last 40 kms of our journey on the Touristic Dogu Express was completed by bus due to track works.

The Touristic Dogu Express was 3 hours late arriving into Ankara which I am told is common. If planning onward travel it is imperative you keep this in mind.

If you are changing from the Dogu Express to one of the high speed just follow the YHT signs to the new high-speed rail station.

NOTE

Buying HIigh Speed Rail Tickets Ankara – Kars

These trains are incredibly popular and sell out quickly. Tickets are only available online 3 days prior to departure and by then the trains are usually full, We had to purchase our ticket via Amber Travel which saved many headaches.

Dogu Express Photos
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