"The Orient Express" is a byword for glamour. It featured in the author's timeless 1934 murder detective story. French firm Accor is restoring 17 of the original cars, formerly known as the Nostalgia-Stamboul-East Express, built in the 1920s and 1930s, with a new service to be launched in Paris in 2024.
The Orient-Express was stopped in 1977, but in the 1980s Swiss tour operator and businessman Albert Glatt launched the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express train, consisting of historic Orient-Express trains that ran between Zurich and Istanbul.
It was a great success - in 1988 the train set off on the historic route linking Paris with Tokyo, and in 1992 Michael Jackson rode it for several weeks during his European tour with his album Dangerous. Unfortunately, it discontinued service a few years later and "went off the rails." The cars - 12 sleeping cars, one restaurant, three waiting rooms, and one van with a security guard sitting in it - were discovered in Poland, on the border with Belarus, in 2015.
One of the cars will now be occupied by a luxury presidential suite unveiled at Design Miami / 2022 in Miami Beach, Florida, USA. Declared a "unique collector's item," it holds two beds and is decorated with solid mahogany. The luxury car is embroidered with velvet and furnished with custom-made furniture.
Note that once launched, the updated Nostalgia-Stambul-East Express train will not be the only Orient Express to carry passengers across Europe. The Venetian Simplon-East Express has been running on various routes since 1982, and the La Dolce Vita Orient Express is due to be launched in early 2024; it will pass through Italy and on to Paris and Istanbul.