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   Orient-Express adieu...


A r t - D e c o

" - Grandes lignes? Banlieue?
- Grandes lignes.
Sur le quai, déjà, la magie opere. Voici le train de longs wagons marques aux noms des grandes villes du Mitropa, Nuremberg, Munich, Bayreuth, Cheb, Prague, Varsovie. L'esprit, du coup, prend son essor, imagine les paysages traverses, croit respirer deja l'odeur de lignite, de saumure et de bois brule ou baigne cette partie du monde… "

...Emile Henriot
"La rose de Bratislava"
Paris, 1938/ 48




Orient-Express Paris - Bucharest, S3/6 no.18 470, Geislinger Steige, Germany, 1928 (Carl Bellingrodt/ Eisenbahn-Kurier)



Simplon-Orient-Express Paris - Istanbul/ Athens exceptionally on the Swiss Loetschberg line, BLS locomotives, wooden CIWL cars (painted blue?), near Frutigen in the '20s (BLS)

Engadin-Express, Rhaetische Bahn meter gauge with a Mitropa diner, connecting with the Arlberg-Orient-Express (RhB)

De-Luxe trains, now more and more subsidized, served the Entente, which wanted to avoid Germany. Only in 1921 the Orient-Express to Bucharest restarted and not before 1925 the Oostende-Wien-Express appeared as a de-Luxe. Both ones now had cars for the Karlsbad-Express with a section for Prague.

On the route of the former Train de luxe militaire in 1924 the Suisse-Arlberg-Vienne-Express was introduced, combined with the seasonal Oberland-Express from Paris to Interlaken and the Engadin-Express to Chur. From 1931 there was a short-lived express from Interlaken to nearby Zweisimmen, consisting of wooden CIWL saloons, built for the Sud-Express, now painted blue/cream, connecting with the meter-gauge Golden Mountain Pullman Express with blue/cream vista cars to Montreux. The Engadin-Express at Chur had a connection to St. Moritz on meter-gauge, provided by the Rhaetische Bahn, with a Mitropa diner. In 1931 the Suisse-Arlberg-Vienne-Express, extended to Budapest, became the Arlberg-Orient-Express, with sleepers to Bucharest and Athens.

Entente politics immediately after WWI had excluded even Austria from the Orient route by creating the Simplon-Orient-Express via Switzerland and Italy to Istanbul, Bucharest and Athens. Later it was combined with sleepers from Oostende, from the Arlberg-Orient- and the Orient-Express, between Budapest and Belgrade running in an ordinary train. Complicated shunting was carried out at Belgrade. The sleepers from Paris via Simplon, from Vienna and from Berlin via Prague to Athens beyond Belgrade ran in the ordinary train P.A. Belgrade - Athens, of course known as the Simplon-Orient-Express, too. On the connecting meter gauge Peloponnesos railway, for some time there were diner services by CIWL using railway-owned cars. Towards the end of the 20's Greek railways extended the Simplon-Orient-Express to Pireas quai in connection with a fast Greek steamer to Alexandria, but that attempt to create a new way to Egypt and India failed. And also the extension of the Simplon-Orient-Express beyond Bucharest to Odessa and beyond Istanbul to Cairo remained a dream.

Simplon-Orient-Express

CIWL de-Luxe, departure Belgrade, May-June 1931:
FParis - Milan - Istanbul
WLBerlin - Breslau - Istanbul (4 times weekly)
WLPrague - Istanbul (same days)
WLOostende - Istanbul (3 times weekly)
WLParis - Milan - Istanbul
WRTrieste - Istanbul
FParis - Milan - Istanbul
Colors: CIWL cars from the end of the '20s dark-blue.



Arlberg-Orient-Express Budapest - Paris, locomotive 310.19, departure Vienna Westbahnhof, Sept.4, 1931 (OeBB Oesterreichisches Eisenbahnmuseum)

Simplon-Orient-Express, Bulgarian 2-8-2 type 01 11, Bulgaria in the '30s (coll. J.B. Kronawitter)


Simplon-Orient-Express Athens - Paris, Greek 2-10-0 type class
Lambda-alpha, Gorgopotamos bridge in central Greece
(CEH advertisement before WWII, coll. Vasilis Leondopoulos)

CIWL-WR of the 1 meter Pelepones-railway, (coll. WS)



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