It’s the train James Bond rode from Istanbul to London; where Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot solved his most famous case alongside Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman.
But how did this speeding succession of suspense and sophistication garner its aura of intrigue?
In 1865, Georges Nagelmackers, the son of a wealthy Belgian banker, had a vision. He wanted to build an elegant train that would span 1,500 miles throughout Europe and Asia on a continuous ribbon of steel.
It was a lovely dream, but by 1883, due to a number of financial and administrative hiccups, the train established a sole, 80-hour route from Paris to Istanbul.
Prior to the train’s debut, the media began to dub it the Orient Express because of its exotic route, and Nagelmackers, naturally, embraced the name.
On the day of the Orient Express’s debut, all the world was aflutter…
The Orient Express traveled to many glamorous locales, such as Paris, Vienna, Budapest, and Constantinople (later renamed Istanbul).
During its debut, Nagelmackers would place his Orient Express next to ugly, decaying Pullman cars to make his train look even more stunning in contrast.
The luxurious train was known for its beauty and was comparable to a five-star European hotel.
In 1883, back in its heyday, it became the preferred way of travel for European kings and spies, eventually also earning the nickname "Spies' Express."
Now, one of the Orient Express trains is parked in Poland and is slowly rotting away.
The train had elaborate wooden paneling and leather armchairs…
…which are still on the train today.
The sleeping cars had silk sheets and wool blankets for the beds.
Those amenities are long gone, but some memories in these cars still remain…
…For instance, King Ferdinand of Bulgaria was observed locking himself in the bathroom, scared to death of assassins.
Belgium's King Leopold II rode the train to Istanbul to indulge in a Turkish man's harem.
Can you imagine His Highness traveling upon this mess?
Secret agents loved traveling on the Orient Express. One English spy, Robert Baden-Powell posed as a butterfly expert. As part of the guise, he would draw the insect and within its wings were codes for…
…battlements he observed along the Dalmatian Coast, which acted as aids for the British and Italian armies in WWI.
Yet now this once fascinating train is in shambles.
Sadly parked in the middle of nowhere.
Please SHARE this fascinating tale with everyone you know, because maybe someone will take the time to preserve this important aspect of history.