Posted by: Author | May 10, 2013

Friday Facts- May 10, 2013- The Orient Express

I’ve been doing some research on luxury trains as I want to base my next 20th century historical novel on one. The quintessential one of course, is the Orient Express. Its first journey was in 1883. It left from Paris and traveled to Constantinople (which is Istanbul, Turkey now). The city is the gateway to the orient. It was on the trade path between Asia and Europe.

The train traveled through the alps, to Budapest and down through Bucharest to its destination. It was the height of luxury and good taste. Good food, great wine, and the wealthy made travel on it very popular with a certain class of people.

The train continued to travel this route for many years. It was very popular in the 1920s but it obviously had interruptions in service due to the various wars on the continent. It finally faded away in the 1970s.

A man named Sherwood brought it back to life by buying and restoring many of its carriages. In 1982, the newly refurbished Venice Simplon-Orient Express made its first trip- it went from London to Venice. You can actually still book passage on this grand train. Check it out here.

Of course, one of my favorite authors ever made this train even more famous with her novel, Murder on the Orient Express. Thanks Dame Agatha Christie for igniting the passion in this girl for train travel.


  1. I have never traveled by train, but I think I’d be disappointed not to be on the Orient Express! I am so glad that you appreciate Agatha Christie. My sister introduced me to her when I was in my teens and have devoured every story of hers I got my hands on.

    • Ahhhh Tonette. I love trains. I’ve traveled them before but never an overnight one. A dream for me.

      Ah, yes, agatha. Love, love her. All of her stories.

  2. I would love to travel Europe by train. We took the Amtrak from Centralia Washington to Ogden Utah one year.

    • I’d love to as well, Lavada. Love that you did the Washington -Utah run. Cool.

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