Orient Express

Orient Express

Let’s look back for a moment into  the European railways history: For almost a century the story of the Orient Express was inextricably woven into the tempestuous history of Europe.  The most famous train ever to operate, the Express spanned a continent and became not only the wonder of railroad engineers but the setting for novels, films, television features, and sensational news stories. Kings and crooks, millionaires and refugees, big-game hunters and smugglers, prima donnas and courtesans traveled on it, tycoons and financiers clinched their deals across its sumptuous dining tables, diplomats, spies, and revolutionaries on board the train moved secretively to their moments of history. The unique caravansary on wheels was a microcosm of the world’s intrigues, human passion, and unbridled ambitions. (E.H. Cookridge Orient Experss, United Kingdom, 1979 Acknowledgments) (see the map “Routes of the Orient Express”

Orient Express, Compagnie,  had a thousand sleeping cars running not only all over Europe ((see the map Routes of the Orient Express) but also across Asia and North Africa.  The founder of Orient Experss, Nagelmackers, had obtained a contract from the Czar for a Wagon-Lits service on the Trans-Siberian Express and the inaugural journey of the sleeping and restaurant cars took place on June 17, 1898 , thus  the cars were running from Calais for the London connection and Paris to Port Arthur on the Pacific (…) The service in Africa had already begun in 1889 in  Algeria and by 1902 it was expanded along the entire shore of North Africa.. (E.H. Cookridge Orient Experss, United Kingdom, 1979 p.89)