Ever since George Nagelmackers’ first Orient-Express train pulled out of Paris Gare de Strasbourg on October 4th 1883, the name ‘Orient-Express’ has been a byword for luxury travel that oozes the ultimate levels of glamour, style and sophistication. It conjures up particular images, such as pressed white linen and gleaming wine glasses, champagne and romantic dinners for two.
Over the years history has been made on the Orient-Express. In 1918, when the First World War ended, on November 11th in the northern French city of Compiegne, Carriage number 2419 saw the signing of the Armistice treaty between Germany and the Allies. Twenty-two years later, Hitler shamelessly stole the idea; France signed its surrender in the exact same carriage, in the exact same city, on June 22nd 1940.
This magnificent vision of European sophistication has also inspired great writers, such as Agatha Christie, who called one of her most celebrated novels ‘Murder On The Orient-Express’. But Agatha’s Hercule Poirot is not the only notable fictional character to have enjoyed the train, as James Bond climbed onto a Venice-bound service in Istanbul at the climax of ‘From Russia With Love’.
The Orient-Express has played host to the rich and famous for over a century now, thanks to its reputation for excellence and discreet service