While the accounts of TCDD were discussed in the GNAT Commission, the deputies brought the Eastern Express into service for touristic purposes, the great interest it received, and especially the economic contribution it provided to Kars. The deputies suggested that some of the old expressways and lines within the body of the institution should be opened to tourism.
General Manager of TCDD Taşımacılık AŞ, Hasan Pezük, drew attention to the interest of the Eastern Express and said that they received requests from the citizens to use the old lines for this purpose. Peküz stated that they started a study on which lines and expressways can be used for touristic purposes, and that they met with travel agencies, non-governmental organizations and municipalities in this context.
Here are the 4 nostalgic lines that TCDD is working on, from east to west, from north to south, where citizens can go anywhere:
- VAN LAKE EXPRESSION
The 352-kilometer road between Ankara, Kayseri, Sivas, Malatya, Elazig and Tatvan passes in 25 hours and 17 minutes in total. The line, which operates two days a week, consists of pullman, covered bunk, sleeper and dining wagons.
- SOUTH KURTULAN EXPRESS
It operates 5 days a week between Ankara and Kurtulan. The train departing from Ankara follows the route of Kayseri, Sivas, Malatya, Diyarbakır, Kurtulan. The journey takes about 26 hours.
- KARAELMAS EXPRESS
Starting from Ankara, Irmak makes regular trips between Kalecik, Çankırı, Çerkeş, Eskipazar, Karabük (Safranbolu) and Zonguldak. A journey of 485 hours is made on the 11-kilometer line.
- LAKES EXPRESS
It reaches İzmir by following the route of Burdur, Isparta, Gümüşgün, Denizli, Nazilli, Aydın. The trip takes 8 hours 30 minutes