Status: Under renovation
Orient Express – the name of a luxury passenger train that operated as part of the international operations of Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. The originator and founder was Belgian Georges Nagelmackers. The 2880 km route led from the Paris East Station to Constantinople (today’s Istanbul). The first train set out on October 4, 1883. It was a symbol of luxury and wealth. Luxury sleeping wagons and restaurant wagons famous for their kitchen meant that people of aristocratic origin, diplomats and business people traveled by train.
On the route from Paris to Istanbul through Strasbourg, Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest and Varna, the train ran in the years 1883–1914, 1919–1939 and 1945–1977. In the following years, the Orient Express route was shortened to Bucharest, followed by Budapest and Vienna. Finally, courses under this banner were suspended in December 2009.
Trains with the common name Orient Express were originally run by the International Society of Sleeping Wagons and Large European Express (in short C.I.W.L). There was also the name International Society of Sleeping and Restaurant Cars. The company also included its luxury carriages as individual trains on international trains. The basic route of the Orient Express train led from Paris to Istanbul and underwent constant modifications. C.I.W.L also launched several other trains with the title “Orient Express” in the name.
Until 2018, 13 luxury wagons stood in the railway transhipment port in Małaszewicze, including restaurant and bar wagons, which were systematically destroyed by the forces of nature and people. They were mostly train wagons, which in 1988 traveled through Poland to Hong Kong, and from around 1993 rode in Russia. The train after stalling in Russia got stuck in 2008 in Małaszewicze, because the standard-gauge wagon carts were once left to be kept by the Belarusian side. Belarusian railways calculated a huge amount for the storage of these wagons. Their exact state was also unknown, because for about 10 years, when the train rode in Russia, they stood in the open air. There was even difficulty finding the owner of these wagons.
The theme of Orient Express is extremely interesting, mentions and stories related to it so far are a frequent topic of literature or world cinema. Among others, the crime story of Agatha Christie “Murder in Orient Express”, A Night on the Orient Express by Veronica Henry or in the films “James Bond – From Russia with Love”, “In 80 days around the world”.
After 10 years, the train got a second life, it was transported to France, where the new owner undertook to renovate it.