Are you that kind of person who thinks travelling is not the destination? And the best parts of travel happen on the road? If so, you will be very excited about travelling by train through the borders of countries.
Among the many options to reach your destination, travelling by train is always one of the safest and most economical options. In addition to avoiding the environmental hazards of travelling by plane, you can have a personal space, a bed and a desk during the trip. You can also take advantage of the valuable experiences of fellow travellers, and watch the breathtaking views of the trails passing by.
Many tourists who travel to Iran will continue to visit Turkey and vice versa. Therefore, the Ankara-Tehran rail line with a reasonable price that makes it one of the most economical travel routes as it traverses various cities in Iran and Turkey. The Ankara-Tehran train is an excellent choice for travelling to the imposing Cappadocia site or the majestic tomb of the great Rumi in Konya. These two cities are just a short drive from Ankara, and this train is a good chance for budget travellers. You can also use the Tehran-Van or Tabriz-Van train if you plan to visit the eastern cities of Turkey.
The only downside to travelling by train is a considerable duration. It is about 24 hours from Tehran to Van and about 60 hours from Tehran to Ankara. Part of this much of the time is related to border customs formalities and depending on customs formalities, this time can vary by several hours.
Inaugurated in July 2019, this fascinating railway line will make a different and exciting journey from Tehran to Ankara. The train from Tehran to Ankara departs at 21:50 every Wednesday. It arrives in Tabriz on Thursday morning, and also you can join the journey from Tabriz station. Then it reaches the "Razi" border. At the "Razi" border, passengers must get off the train, and immigration officers should check their passports and visas. After customs formalities are being completed, passengers will board the train again and repeat the same at the Turkish border station, "Kapikoy". Passengers will continue on their way to Turkey after getting the entry permit. Based on the agreements and border formalities at each station, the control process will ultimately take two hours. As you continue from Kapikoy to Van Station, passing the beautiful scenery, your rail journey continues in Turkey.
One of the exciting things about this trip is the combination of railway travel and boat travel. You will be able to visit the landscape of Lake Van on your journey for free, which is very interesting! Tehran-Ankara train travels from Tehran to Lake Van with an Iranian railway company (Raja Company). Arriving on Lake Van, passengers will board a ferry, and have a five-hour ferry ride across the lake to Tat Station. After arriving at the "Tatvan" station, they board the Turkish train and continue on their way to Ankara.
Passing through Elazig, Malatya, Kayseri and Sivas stations, this journey will end at Ankara's station on Saturday morning. Ankara-Tehran train also departs Ankara towards Tehran every Wednesday at 2:25 pm.
Tehran - Van train leaves Tehran on Sunday and arrives in Tabriz by midnight Monday. Like the Tehran-Ankara train, you can join from Tabriz. The next stop is the "Razi" Border Station. The border formalities are done as described above. The train arrives at Van station Monday morning after departing from the "Kapikoy" station. The journey ends in about 24 hours after crossing beautiful nature and stunning mountains.
For the Van-Tehran route, you can use the Tehran-Van trains that return to Tehran on Monday night. Also, the Ankara-Tehran trains which pass by the Van station are available.
The train has four-person coupes. Having a coupe and personal space makes the journey even more exciting if you travel with friends or family, it's like you have a room privately. And if you are a solo traveller, it's a good chance to make friends.
There are four seats and four beds in each coupe. Between the two positions, there is a table for dining. There are also two LCDs on each side of the coupe for entertaining passengers. Also, you have access to power in the coupe. Wagons have cooling and heating facilities. Also sterilized sleeping blankets will be given to passengers. Travellers can use the train restaurant to have meals, but you should pre-order. Tea and drinks can be ordered inside the coupe. Snacks are distributed free of charge at the beginning of the trip. There are two toilets on each side of the wagon. Wheelchairs are also available for travellers with a disability or any physical problem.
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The ticket fee for Ankara-Tehran/ Tehran-Ankara train is 70 Euro per person and for Van-Tehran/ Tehran-Van train as 35 Euro per person. This fee excluded meals and catering. Adding three meals charges for more 5 Euro. The train's menu of Raja company is appropriate for non-vegetarians including meat and chicken. Passports with the validity of at least six months, departure tax and visa are required. On these trains, passenger luggage is restricted to the coupé luggage area (approx. 30*40*50 cm), and no additional cargo is accepted.
By Reyhaneh Jafari