At the Haydarpasa train terminal, we grabbed our bags from left luggage and headed for the train (after getting help from a security guard on which “express” train was ours). We ended up having a 2-bed cabin (TL120 total) in the first car of the train! Although small, it was well-designed and had enough room for us to get around in. Our train departed at 10:30pm as expected.
We slept in the two separate single bunks – Katie on the bottom bunk and JT on the top bunk. While the train is named the “Ankara Express”, it still had plenty of stops along the way from Istanbul to Ankara. Unfortunately, the frequent stops (and some random loud yelling in the halls right outside our door) meant that we did not sleep as well and as long as we wished.
We woke early in morning (around 6:30am) in our train compartment to pack and prepare to get off of the train by the 7:07am arrival. Sure enough, we pulled into the Ankara train station right about that time and the nice conductor for our car helped us move our bags off of the train. As this was the last stop, we figured that the train was going to stay at the platform for a while. But, while we were situating ourselves on the platform, it headed off empty.