The Orient Express is perhaps the most extraordinary episode in the history of the railway. A link of very high quality which has brought the european capitals. Today, the SNCF reveals to the public seven cars of the 1920’s fully renovated, witnesses of this glorious history. Among these cars, the three traveled between Paris and Constantinople (now Istanbul) from 1883 to 1977, at a time when the train iconic stops also at Vienna and Venice.
Visit the interior of this train, it is to make a leap in History. In the midst of gilding, bronzes, and chairs thick, one would imagine, thanks to the great of this world have borrowed. The other four cars are cars, restaurants, that the compagnie internationale des wagons-lits used for shorter trips, to Nice, for example. If the SNCF is concerned as much with these trains, is that she believes that this heritage is part of its identity.
THE national airline has bought the brand Orient-Express compagnie Internationale des wagons-lits when the latter has stopped its routes to Istanbul in 1977. She then undertook this important work of restoration, which cost him € 14 million, since even this train is wonderful must comply with the standards and requirements of security today in order to circulate. To operate this train, it has created a society of 50% with the Accor group. These cars, when they will not be exposed to the public, may also be used for events for companies wishing to make small trips.
In search of the cars lost
But the story is more complex. The SNCF has recently acquired sixteen other cars it intends to restore. And it took a work of investigation worthy of a detective novel to trace! It is the judgment of the binding history of the Orient-Express in 1977, two entrepreneurs who are passionate about train had redeemed the stock of cars. One founds the Venice Simplon Orient Express travelled between Paris and Venice, and today bought by LVMH. The second, a swiss citizen named Albert Glatt, hoped him raise the train to Istanbul, but the project falls short.
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After extensive desk research and a video posted on YouTube, Arthur Mettetal, head of the heritage in the subsidiary of SNCF, has managed to locate the train of Albert Glatt in a locality in Polish called Malaszewieze, at the border of Belarus. Cars were left stranded in the same place where the widths of the pathways vary between the east and the west of Europe.
“No tag, very little damage. There have been thefts of copper, but the panels of glass Lalique, which are yet could be easily removed were intact”, welcomes Arthur Mettetal. Negotiations ensued with the German owner of the car locked since 2008. Finally, the takeover took place in July 2018, and the cars were sent to Clermont-Ferrand… By the way! This new batch includes nine sleeping cars, four cars, living room, car, shower, and two vans. But the research continues, because there is still today a hundred cars scattered in Europe…