Onur, a railway professional from Turkey, had travelled from Amasya to Kars using every regional and main line trains possible in January 2015.
We’d started our rail trip in a sunny day from Amasya and ended at Kars under snow. We used every chance to change rolling stock on our way, which was surely confusing for TCDD ticket staff, Amasya-Sivas by regional express, Sivas-Cetinkaya by regional express, Cetinkaya-Divrigi by post train and finally Divrigi-Kars by Dogu Express.
Amasya was a lovely town in north of Turkey, excellent place to start the journey. The train coming through valley from Samsun took the passengers enjoying the tea garden next to station under trees.
It was possible to get in Dogu Express at Sivas, but we prefered experiencing two more short-distance services until Cetinkaya, before Dogu Express.
Cetinkaya-Divrigi post train was a lonely small very old train. There was noone other than a family in the train, no officers to ask anything. We waited once in the middle of nowhere for more than 15 minutes, which was a little terrifying.
Especially the Dogu Express, which we got on at Divrigi was very comfortable and hot enough despite the very cold weather. Restaurant did not offer many options, but we enjoyed chatting during all trip there while getting some refreshments.
The route to Kars through the high snowy mountains and deep valleys by Dogu Express is probably the best long-distance choice in Turkey. I strongly recommend this route to all rail travellers.
Stories about travelling by train in Turkey
TCDD restaurant cars review - Steve, British citizen and English teacher at Bilkent University in Ankara, had tested the new concept of restaurant cars of TCDD while travelling by Izmir-Ankara train in June 2016.
Towards Armenian Border with Kars Express - Serhan Sevin, photographer at Haberturk, wrote his 30-hours-long travel from Istanbul to Kars by train.
18 days on Turkish rail - Jools, a loco driver from UK, had traveled on several routes of Turkey by rail in January 2015.
Maybe I was unlucky - Jools, a loco driver from UK, had traveled on several routes of Turkey by rail in September 2014.
Sound of diesel engine - Dusko from Bosnia and Herzegovina had travelled from Ankara to Bandirma via Izmir with main line trains of TCDD in October 2015.
Through high snowy mountains and deep valleys - Onur, a railway professional from Turkey, had travelled from Amasya to Kars using every regional and main line trains possible in January 2015.
Cover photo by Onur Uysal