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Photograph: Xavier Antoinet / Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express

The original Orient Express will return to Europe in 2024

Following the discovery of 17 original carriages, the epic Paris-Istanbul route could be revived in time for the Paris Olympics

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham
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Few trains are quite as iconic as the Orient Express. Famous for its OTT opulence, the luxury line between Paris and Istanbul symbolised the height of wealth and extravagance. For nearly a century it was one of the finest, most elegant – and most expensive – ways to travel across Europe.

The original Orient Express shut down in 1977 but, thanks to the recent discovery of some of the line’s carriages, it’s now set for a comeback. Seventeen OG carriages were found in Poland in 2015 and subsequently bought by French hospitality company Accor. They’re set to be relaunched in 2024 as the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express, just in time for the Paris Olympics.

The rediscovered carriages include sleeping cars, lounge cars and a restaurant car, and they still feature plenty of their original Art Deco decor. While they might look a bit rough at the mo, they’re currently being restored in France. When the carriages are relaunched, they’ll include suites with their own bathrooms and an entire car dedicated to performances and events. Here are a few pics of the carriages in their current state.

Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express
Photograph: Xavier Antoinet / Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express
Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express
Photograph: Xavier Antoinet / Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express
Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express
Photograph: Xavier Antoinet / Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express

Now, as you read all this you may be getting a fair bit of déjà vu. After all, aren’t there already a few Orient Expresses? And you’re right, there are. The Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express currently runs several routes across Europe, while the Orient Express La Dolce Vita – a line celebrating the route’s 1960s and ’70s era – is set to launch in 2023.

While exact details of the route are yet to be ironed out, it’s thought that the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express will, like the famed original route, run between Istanbul and Paris. The first of the renovated cars will be unveiled this December, with the rest due to be completed by 2024.

If you’re interested in finding out more, see the Orient Express website here.

ICYMI: a new sleeper train route will soon link up Amsterdam and the south of France.

Plus: pay £3 extra and Eurostar will plant a new tree when you book.

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