The Orient Express

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Hotels, Paris / Île-de-France
Reading Time:  3 minutes

Orient Express Restaurant car © Epistola8/cc-by-sa-4.0

Orient Express Restaurant car © Epistola8/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Orient Express was a long-distance passenger train service created in 1883 by Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL). The route and rolling stock of the Orient Express changed many times. Several routes in the past concurrently used the Orient Express name, or slight variations. Although the original Orient Express was simply a normal international railway service, the name became synonymous with intrigue and luxury travel. The two city names most prominently associated with the Orient Express are Paris and Constantinople (Istanbul), the original endpoints of the timetabled service. The Orient Express was a showcase of luxury and comfort at a time when travelling was still rough and dangerous.

In 1977, the Orient Express stopped serving Istanbul. Its immediate successor, a through overnight service from Paris to Bucharest—since 1991 only to Budapest, and in 2001 again shortened to Vienna—ran for the last time from Paris on Friday, June 8, 2007. After this, the route, still called the “Orient Express”, was shortened to start from Strasbourg instead, occasioned by the inauguration of the LGV Est which afforded much shorter travel times from Paris to Strasbourg. The new curtailed service left Strasbourg at 22:20 daily, shortly after the arrival of a TGV from Paris, and was attached at Karlsruhe to the overnight sleeper service from Amsterdam to Vienna.

Orient Express - Restaurant Anatolie © Didiaszerman/cc-by-sa-3.0 Orient Express Exhibition at Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris © flickr.com - Yann Caradec/cc-by-sa-2.0 Orient Express in Budapest © Epistola8/cc-by-sa-4.0 American Orient Express at Portland Union Station © flickr.com - William Ward/cc-by-2.0 Historic routes of Orient Express. The cross denotes the Simplon tunnel © MissMJ/cc-by-sa-3.0 Istanbul - Orient Express Museum at Sirkeci train station © flickr.com - shankar s./cc-by-2.0 Orient Express Restaurant car © Epistola8/cc-by-sa-4.0 Prague - Orient Express at Praha Smichov Station © Juan de Vojníkov/cc-by-sa-3.0 British Pullman carriage at York station © Ultra7 The Royal Scotsman at County March Summit © geograph.org.uk - roger geach/cc-by-sa-2.0 Yorkshire Pullman carriages at York station © Ultra7 Istanbul - Sirkeci train station © Martin Dürrschnabel/cc-by-sa-2.5
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Orient Express Exhibition at Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris © flickr.com - Yann Caradec/cc-by-sa-2.0
On 14 December 2009, the Orient Express ceased to operate and the route disappeared from European railway timetables, reportedly a “victim of high-speed trains and cut-rate airlines”. The Venice-Simplon Orient Express train, a private venture by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. using original CIWL carriages from the 1920s and 1930s, continues to run from London to Venice and to other destinations in Europe, including the original route from Paris to Istanbul. In March 2014 Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. was renamed Belmond.

Read more on The Guardian, 15 April 2023: Orient Express to axe UK section after 41 years due to Brexit, Wikivoyage Orient Express, Wikipedia The Royal Scotsman and Wikipedia Orient Express (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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