Breakfast was still palatable, but the evening meal would have been a major disappointment.

Steve Hobson, English teacher at Bilkent University

The passengers who are not in a hurry, want to rest and really enjoy travelling prefer Dogu Express which means a chance to have silence during min 25 hours on 1000-km-long way from Ankara to Kars.

Serhan Sevin

Serhan Sevin, photographer at Haberturk

The locos were as good as ever, and the full loads with a DE24 on the mixed trains made them very entertaining, especially for those of us who like the Pielstick engines in other locos too.

Jools, loco driver in UK

No one who books this slow train to Tehran is in any hurry to reach their final destination.

Tristan, freelance travel writer

In the almost untouched and fascinating landscape, there are from time to time sign of human civilization.

Johannes Heger, founder of iranrail.net

In three car express l could listen the sound of diesel engine while the train was going up to the mountains.

Dusko Djuric

Dusko, train traveller from Bosnia and Herzegovina

It was supposed to be an overnight sleeper, but I learnt online that the engineering works in Bulgaria are causing disruption and resulting in rail replacement buses. Lets find out for real!

Amy, a social media marketer, teacher and traveller

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.

Onur Uysal

Onur, railway consultant in Turkey

In the dining car the usual socializing was in full progress, with a bunch of other foreign travelers mixing with Iranians already in a hospitable mood.

Maria and Ben, Romanian-German couple

Train was not crowded, thus we spent all 28-hrs together in the same compartment and became close with everyone, got many good friends.

Bestami Köse, founder of Interrail Turkey

I remember asking the conductress whether there was WiFi on the train, oddly enough the conductress did not speak a single word of English – she did not even understand the words WiFi or internet.

Koen Nijbroek, bioinformatician in Netherlands

Despite his limited English and our nonexistent Farsi, he extended a warm welcome, sharing sweets, teaching us Farsi phrases, and offering us hospitality in his home in Tehran.

Laura & Paul, software developers from USA

The Turkish restaurant has some great meals for reasonable prices under 10 Turkish Lira. But do practice your Turkish with the restaurant car attendant and you will get what you want. I asked for Chips and Cola but i got sausage and milk.

Martin Anthony, British metalhead

The short, four-car train has a restaurant, but passengers prefer to squeeze in their tight compartments. Public space in Iran is a synonym for restrictions, limitations and control, so people spontaneously gather within four walls, where they can be themselves.

Laurance Cornet, Journalist from USA

The incredible bouncing, causing me to doubt my incredible ability to sleep anywhere, anytime; forty-five minutes standing in line in the wee hours of the new day waiting for an exit stamp from Turkey.

Taylor Davidson, entrepreneur and photographer

Passengers look after each other, share food, play music and exchange stories, before parting ways and starting their new lives in a land that many of them have never visited before.

Gaia Squarci, Italian photographer and cinematographer

With very few exceptions, almost all of the passengers were either asylum seekers or families of those who had previously escaped the country. Some fearful for the life and
others simply searching for a better time ahead.

kiana hayeri

Kiana Hayeri, documentary photographer

Instead, we found a plush, clean four-person compartment with free water, snacks, and functioning electrical outlets.

Daniel and Audrey, husband-and-wife storytelling team from USA

As we approached Tatvan, where we will change to a ferry on Lake Van, we were travelling through snow and the scenery was breath-taking.

Moira Dunworth, teacher and researcher in UK