On This Day

The Orient Express

Poster advertising the Orient Express schedule
Poster advertising the Orient Express schedule

Historical Context

The Orient Express was a by-word for luxurious train travel and had its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s.

The service was created by Belgian Georges Nagelmackers who set up Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits, a luxury travel service that included trains. Their most famous was the Orient Express.

In 1883 the route began in Paris and ended in Istanbul, passing through Vienna and Munich. Over the years the route changed many times and was famed for the luxury of its sleeping and dining cars.

From the 1960s its service was gradually reduced and finished completely in 1977. The railway journey features often in literature and film; one of its most famous in the Agatha Christie novel "Murder on the Orient Express" was not actually set on the original Orient Express but a parallel service called the Simplon Orient Express.

Poster Info

Location published: Gare de l'Est, Paris, France

Related Events

  • 1883-10-04 The Orient Express departs on its first official journey from Paris to Istanbul
  • 1961-05-28 Last trip (Paris to Bucharest) on the Orient Express (after 78 years)
  • 1977-05-22 Final European scheduled run of the Orient Express (after 94 years)

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Historical Posters