The Orient Express is one of the most famous trains of all time – in no small part thanks to the Agatha Christie murder mystery set on a journey in the 1930’s.
Its gilded walls, classic bunker rooms and Art Deco glamour captured the minds of many vintage style lovers – and plenty of Brits dream of travelling on the stunning train.
Setting forth on its first trip from Paris, France to Istanbul, Turkey in 1883 the Orient Express was created for the upper classes in the Golden Era of train travel.
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But, sadly, by 2018 the train had been lying abandoned for around a decade when it was discovered by historians and bought by the Accor hotel group’s Orient Express brand.
And, anyone who’s ever dreamed of sipping a cocktail in the dining room before heading back to their bedroom is in luck as the train is being renovated – and will depart from Paris once again in 2024.
While the routes the train follows haven’t yet been confirmed, it’s believed that it will likely follow a similar journey to the original from France to Istanbul, reports LonelyPlanet.
The 40-passenger train first crossed Europe from 1883 to 1977, but cheap air travel meant it saw a drop in popularity.
It was revived in 1982 running from Paris to Bucharest, but the last train bearing the name Orient Express finished all service in 2009.
Fast forward to 2022 when holidaymakers are all about trying unusual experiences, and other luxury trains have been successful.
The Belmond Andean Explorer in Peru, South America boasts sumptuous en-suite cabins, two dining rooms serving up mouth-watering locally-sourced meals and a drinks lounge complete with grand piano.
Meanwhile you can board a tequila train in Mexico which offers a drinking experience like no other.
The Orient Express isn’t only an icon because of its starring role in Murder on the Orient Express, but also because of the mysterious disappearance of its carriages.
It was only found in 2015 when Arthur Mettetal, a researcher in industrial history, spotted the train while watching a YouTube video on France’s state rail company SNCF.
The train sat in Malaszewicze train station in Poland and the 13-carriage train was eventually recovered and sold.
Now the Orient Express is to be renovated by architect Maxime d’Angeac and will be given a modern update while sticking to the elegance of the 1930s design.
The train features engraved glass panels, marquetry – a veneer craft that creates beautiful wooden patterns – and Art Deco details.
And, the renovated version will have 14 sleeping carriages, a restaurant, a bar as well as an “experiential salon”.
Performances and events will take place on the journey and three suites will be available – including a presidential option that takes up a whole carriage.
Every suite will have its own bathroom so you don’t have to share.
Bookings and pricing is not yet available, but the first carriages are expected to be revealed in October this year.
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