The Orient Express was the name of a long-distance passenger train service created in 1883 by Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL). The train was prominently featured in Ian Fleming's 1957 novel From Russia with Love, where it provided the ideal setting for the final stages of SMERSH's sinister konspiratsia against James Bond. It would later appear in its 1963 film adaptation, as well as a 2005 video game adaptation.
The route and rolling stock of the Orient Express changed many times. Several routes in the past concurrently used the Orient Express name, or slight variants thereof. Although the original Orient Express was simply a normal international railway service, the name has become synonymous with intrigue and luxury travel. The two city names most prominently associated with the Orient Express are Paris and Constantinople (Istanbul), the original endpoints of the timetabled service.
In 1977, the Orient Express stopped serving Istanbul. Its immediate successor, a through overnight service from Paris to Vienna, ran for the last time from Paris on Friday, June 8, 2007. After this, the route, still called the "Orient Express", was shortened to start from Strasbourg instead. On 14 December 2009, the Orient Express ceased to operate and the route disappeared from European railway timetables, reportedly a "victim of high-speed trains and cut-rate airlines". The Venice-Simplon Orient Express train, a private venture by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. (later renamed Belmond) using original CIWL carriages from the 1920s and 1930s, continues to run from London to Venice and to other destinations in Europe, including the original route from Paris to Istanbul.
- ↑ Orient-Express
- ↑ Orient Express : attention au départ
- ↑ Zax, David (1 March 2007). A Brief History of the Orient Express. Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian.com. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
- ↑ Calder, Simon. "Murder of the Orient Express – End of the line for celebrated train service", The Independent, 22 August 2009. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
- ↑ A History of the Orient Express. Agatha Christie Limited (17 May 2011). Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
- ↑ The Orient Express Takes Its Final Trip. NPR (December 12, 2009). Retrieved on 2011-02-26.
- ↑ Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
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