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A touch of the Orient

12.03.2019

A touch of the Orient

The myth of the
„Orient Express“ began in 1883 in Paris. From the train station „Gare de l‘Est“, the world‘s first luxury train, consisting of couchette, dining and luggage coaches, made its way to Constantinople. This was the moment when the pioneering spirit of this era was in the air and definitely could be felt. It showed in the comfort and equipment of the coaches, in the cuisine offered, in the provision of services and in the through traffic without necessity to change trains at other stations. The luggage coach was filled with food, ice boxes and wine bottles. The shower cubicle of this coach was an unbeatable feature and proved luxury comfort at that time.

This extravagant train crossed Europe over several thousand kilometres and seven national borders. From the beginning, the Orient Express was considered a train of the privileged society. The Orient Express has inspired and fascinated writers, film, music and theater makers. The train served as setting for the feature films „Murder on the Orient Express“ and „James Bond - FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE“. The most famous novels, in which the king of the trains takes the lead role, were written by authors like Agatha Christie and Graham Greene. The creator of this legendary train was the Belgian Georges Nagelmackers who owned the privatrailway company „Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits et des Grands Express Européens“ - in short CIWL. No other train in the world before has possessed so much prestige and has played such a diplomatic, political, economic and cultural role. The best time of this mythical train was the 1920s. After the Second World War, Europe was divided again into two parts and the Cold War ended the slow decline of the famous train.

Apart from the classic route Paris-Istanbul, other routes for luxury trains had been established over time.
From 1976 on rolled again a new successor under the name „Nostalgia Istanbul Orient Express (NIOE)“ on the lines across the Alps. The couchette coach in these trains were of the type UH of the company „Wagonbau Hansa“ and were painted in dark blue colour. The legend of the Orient Express continues and many railway enthusiasts hope that the incomparable atmosphere of bygone times will be revived on Europe‘s rails.

Roco takes on this legend of the rails and brings in 2019 a
5-piece set with the electric locomotive Rh 1020 and 4 CIWL sleeping cars on the market (Art. No .: 61468, 61469, 61470). We have already looked over our colleague's shoulder and discovered the first design drawings:

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