Which Dogu Express: Classic or touristic?

As touristic version restarts today, Dogu Express train service is doubled. Then which to choose?

Touristic Dogu Express restarts service today after a long suspension due to Covid-19. Touristic version was started as the classical one became so popular. Two trains may be a bit confusing for many travellers, so let’s see the differences between them:

Classic calls at every station

Classic Dogu Express is one of the main transport modal for many cities and towns on Ankara-Kayseri-Sivas-Erzincan-Erzurum-Kars route, calling at 52 stations. Train is frequently being used for transports between two neighbour towns. This means there’s a lot of alternative to get on or off the train. Some little stations may provide extra ordinary opportunities for photographers. On the other hand, this many calls and getting on/off traffic means interruption especially while sleeping, especially if you are travelling on a seat, not in a compartment.

Touristic Dogu Express is calling less, at 25 stations. Since there’s no standart coach in train with seats, and full length fare is charged, there’s almost no traveller traffic on way.

Couchettes on classic, sleepers on touristic

Classic Dogu Express has standart coaches with seats and couchettes. Though train seats are pretty comfortable especially compared to buses, since lights are always on and travellers get on/off in almost every station, a overnight travel on seat may be a bit uncomfortable. On the other hand, couchettes are quite good choice especially for big groups travelling together, even better than sleepers in some cases. Since touristic version started, sleepers do not exist in Classic Dogu Express.

If you want to have a romantic trip with a partner in a private cabin with two beds, the only choice is now Touristic Dogu Express. Sleepers have a small table, a sink, some space for luggages and coats.

City excursions with touristic

Though Dogu Express is passing by several attraction points, classic train is calling at stations only for a short time only for taking new passengers or technical reasons. No time to see around.

Touristic Dogu Express differs mainly on this subject. Train gives 3-hours-long breaks at Ilic and Erzurum in east bound and  at Erzincan, Divrigi and Sivas in west bound. This enables to see city, have something to eat or attend the tours. In each stop, the tour company organizes excursions according to train timetable.

Touristic one departs 2 per week

Classic Dogu Express departs every day from Ankara and Kars. Travel time is 26 hours.

Touristic Dogu Express departs two time a week, on Wednesday and Friday from Ankara, on Friday and Sunday from Kars. Travel time of this train is around 32 hours.

Classic is much cheaper

One of the main difference between two trains is the train fare. You can buy a Ankara-Kars seat ticket for 68 TL (€4) or a place in couchette for 68 TL (€6).

The price for a sleeper cabin at Touristic Dogu Express is 1300 TL, no matter if you travel alone or two. This great difference is because of several reasons. Sleepers carry half of couchettes in one wagon. A longer travel with long stops increase the cost a bit. But the main reason is that, touristic train is not subsidized but classic is.

Cover photo: Onur Uysal ©


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