The first Orient Express trains started taking passengers from Paris to Istanbul 140 years ago, changing the face of rail travel forever. Now the luxury train service, originally known as the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express, is returning to the tracks once more thanks to French hospitality group Accor.
Historic carriages belonging to the original train have been found and restored with the help of Parisian architect Maxime d’Angeac, who has taken inspiration from the Orient Express’s history and the 1920s Art Deco movement. There are lots of nods to details on the original trains, from the motifs on the partitions in the dining car to the glass counter bar inspired by French glassware brand Lalique. Other additions are pure luxury: rosewood, plush green seating and call for champagne buttons on the bar; and leather walls, mother of pearl embossed headboards and marble bathrooms in the sleeping cars.
The new-look interiors for the Orient Express were revealed in an immersive exhibition in Paris earlier in the month and the new carriages will go back on display in the city ahead of the Olympic Games in 2024, before journeys commence in 2025.