Few trains are as iconic as the Orient Express. Famous for its OTT opulence, the luxury line between Paris and Istanbul symbolized the height of wealth and extravagance. For almost a century, it was one of the finest, most elegant and most expensive ways to travel across Europe.
The original Orient Express closed in 1977 but, thanks to the recent discovery of some line carriages, it is now ready for a comeback. Seventeen OG cars were found in Poland in 2015 and later purchased by French hotel company Accor. They should be relaunched in 2024 as Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express, just in time for the Paris Olympics.
The rediscovered cars include sleeping cars, lounge cars and a dining car, and they still feature much of their original Art Deco decor. Although they may seem a little rough at the time, they are currently being restored in France. When the cars are relaunched, they will include suites with their own bathrooms and an entire car dedicated to shows and events. Here are some photos of the cars in their current state.
Now, reading all of this, you might have a bit of deja vu. After all, aren’t there already a few Orient Expresses? And you’re right, there are. The Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express currently serves several routes across Europe, while the Orient Express La Dolce Vita – a line celebrating the 1960s and 1970s era – is due to launch in 2023.
While exact route details have yet to be ironed out, it is believed that the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express, like the famous original route, will run between Istanbul and Paris. The first of the facelifted cars will be unveiled in December, with the others to be completed by 2024.
If you want to know more, check out the Orient Express website here.
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