Contrary to popular belief, the term "Orient Express" is not famous for being the name of your local Chinese food takeout joint. It's a little bit more historical than that.

Although there are many train routes that go across Europe that go by the name of “The Orient Express” this w/u addresses the original passenger train that took travelers from Paris to Istanbul and back. It started back in 1882 and a one-way ticket covered approximately 1400 miles or 2254 kilometers. At the time it epitomized “luxury travel” and passengers along the route could expect comfortable beds and fine dining as the train crossed through the European countryside.

If you took the entire route you could expect to make stops in the following cities along the way :


A typical train consisted of two baggage cars, four coach cars with 58 beds and a restaurant car that could seat 107 people.

Speaking of the restaurant, diners were able to choose from a menu that contained oysters, a turbot with some kind of green sauce, chicken chasseur (Basically a Hunter’s style of chicken stew), beef fillets with chateau potatoes, a mélange of wild game animals, salads, chocolate pudding and a dessert tray.

Service was interrupted during World War I and then again during World War II. It resumed again at the conclusion of the war in 1945.

Most of us are probably most familiar with the train from Agatha Christie and her fine novel and later film adaptations of Murder on the Orient Express but it has appeared in one way or another in books and film for a long time. Here’s a few of the more notable scenes in which the train appears.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene
From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming
The Doctor Who episode called “The Big Bang" – this time the Orient Express isn’t crossing Europe. Instead, the good doctor gets a call for help from the train while it travels through space.

Sadly, the route covered by the original Orient Express came to an end in 2009. It seems passengers now prefer high-speed trains that whiz through the countryside at breakneck speed or cheap airline tickets to get them to their destinations. I guess scenery has taken a backseat to speed.

Respectfully submitted in accordance with A BUSINESS PROPOSITION QUEST 2012.


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