The mythical Orient-Express train is about to make a comeback after several attempts at resurrection. The Accor group plans to unveil it to the public during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
In 1883, the Orient-Express, a luxury train created by the Compagnie internationale des wagons-lits (CIWL), made its very first journey between Paris and Vienna. Under the aegis of the Belgian engineer Georges Nagelmackers, the Orient-Express aimed to connect two worlds: the West and the East. Building on its success over the years, the famous train then extended its route from Paris to Venice, and especially from Paris to Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), from 1919.
However, in 1977, the trip stopped for the Orient-Express. Several attempts on the part of private entrepreneurs have notably emerged to put it back on track (Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express, Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express), in vain. The last attempt dates back to 2009 when the train stopped for good.
Since 2011, a recovery project has been carried out by the SNCF and the Accor hotel group. According to information from our colleagues at BFMTV, the new version of the Orient-Express could well see the light of day in 2024. True to its history and its legend, the luxury train will once again connect Paris to Vienna. But his ambition does not stop there. We also learn that the Orient-Express will make the longest rail journey in the world, linking Paris to Tokyo.
In order to summon all the nostalgia and memories of the legendary train , the SNCF has offered the services of a researcher in industrial history, Arthur Mettetal. The latter was responsible for finding the original cars from 1920-1930, lost in the wild. It was in 2015, in Poland, that Arthur Mettetal found the 17 cars which, according to Accor, will indeed be part of the new journey.
The 17 cars (12 sleeping cars, 1 restaurant, 3 lounges and 1 van) were repatriated to France three years later to be restored by French craftsmen. Before obtaining more details on this highly anticipated return, Accor and SNCF announced the presentation of cars for 2024 at the time of the Paris Olympic Games .