Tehran-Ankara train resumes service after four years

August 14, 2019 - 19:12

TEHRAN - Turkey and Iran have resumed a train service between Ankara and Tehran after a four-year hiatus. The train is scheduled to leave the Iranian capital every Wednesday at 21:50 local time.

Last Wednesday, head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (IRIR) Saeid Rasouli, flagged off the first train service during a ceremony attended by a number of officials, when the Trans Asia Express, carrying passengers and freight, left Tehran railway station for the Turkish, Press TV reported.

The five-car train, which had 200 passengers on board, took about 60 hours to arrive in Ankara on Saturday.

The decision to resume the service came in May after meetings between Iranian and Turkish officials. Trains between the eastern Turkish city of Van near the Iranian border and Tehran resumed in late June.

The new service involves two train travel segments and a ferry journey. The IRIR train leaving Tehran will have a layover in the Iranian city of Tabriz before heading to Lake Van in eastern Turkey.

Passengers will then ride a ferry across the lake before taking a train operated by Turkey’s state railway agency to Ankara. 

The service marks yet another milestone in burgeoning trade ties between Iran and Turkey whose leaders have dismissed unilateral U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic, the report said.

Iran topped the list of international arrivals in Turkey in the first two mounts of the past Iranian calendar year (March 21-May 21, 2018). Over 350,000 Iranians visited Turkey in the two-month period, which contributed to 11.7 percent share of its total arrivals.

In January-November 2018, 1.894 million Iranian tourists visited Turkey, 18.17 percent less than the same period in 2017, according to data compiled by Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.


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