The story of the legendary Orient Express began in 1883 and was launched by Compagnie Internationale des Wgons- Lits, and the train changed the face of the travel experience from Paris to Istanbul. Promising luxury throughout the journey, the train went off the rails in 1977. But before it last ran, it was known to be the most elegant and most expensive mode of travel across Europe.
However, it is now returning, inviting passengers to relive the legendary travel experience which was known as the &lsquoNostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express.&rsquo The train will be making a comeback in 2024 with seventeen carriages that were found in Poland and have been acquired by the French hospitality group Accor.
Georges Nagelmackers, the founder of the Orient Express train, got inspired by his travel in America and made a mark in history by launching the most luxurious train in the world. The experience, which is described as magical and one-of-a-kind, connected the West to the gates of the East in Europe. However, in the early 1980s, the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express and the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express were relaunched by two ambitious entrepreneurs, James Sherwood in Venice and Albert Glatt in Switzerland. During his Dangerous European tour in 1992, Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, spent a few weeks travelling by train. Thought the &lsquoExtreme Orient Express&rsquo set out on its longest journey, connecting Paris and Tokyo but couldn&rsquot save itself from going off the grid.
Arthur Mettetal, a researcher specializing in industrial history, set out to find Orient Express for France&rsquos national services in 2015. With the help of Google Maps and Google 3D, they found the carriages through a video near the border between Belarus and Poland. Later after two years of negotiations with the owner, the deal was signed in Vienna in 2018. The 17 cars - 12 sleeping cars, 1 restaurant, 3 lounges, and 1 van - were returned to France by a Dantesque convoy of trucks guarded by numerous police cars.
Interestingly, the splendid train and its replicas have appeared in cinema. Most notable is the 1974 release, &lsquoMurder on the Orient Express, which is an adaptation of Agatha Christie&rsquos written novel by the same name. The film was directed by Sidney Lumet and starred Albert Finney as Poirot, which was a huge success. The Lady Vanishes, which is a 1938 British mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave, also showed the renowned train. The Wheel Spins, an Ethel Lina White short tale, was adapted for the screen by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder. Russia with Love, a 1963 British spy film and the second in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, shows James Bond boarding the magnificent train from Istanbul.
The Orient Express's interiors feature marquetry by Morrison and Nelson and iconic Lalique Art Deco panels. Blackbird and grape carvings can be seen in the art deco. The restoration of the palatial train is now in the hands of Maxime d&rsquoAngeac, who will be reinterpreting the decor of the olden times. In 2024, during the time of Olympic Games in Paris, the charming Orient Express will be revealed, which will reflect the hard work and craft of French artists. The train will be running on its&rsquos original route, which is between Paris and Istanbul. In 2023, Accor will also introduce La Dolce Vita, a new Orient Express service that will travel throughout Italy, which has been designed by Emilano Salci and Britt Moran.