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   Orient-Express adieu...

T h e   D e c l i n e

Orient-Express Bucharest/ Warsaw - Paris, SNCF Mountain 241-A-38 ex-Est, near Lagny, France, 1948 (Raymond Floquet)

Oostende-Wien-Express Oostende - (Amsterdam -) Vienna, Pacific 18 614, Regensburg in the '50s (Gottfried Turnwald)

Temporarily a CIWL all-sleeper special of "cet" did run Paris - Arlberg - Innsbruck and three cars continued to Toblach/Dobiacco, Italy, here with FS 741 class, March 1970 (WS)

After WWII, in 1945 the Arlberg-Orient-Express and soon the Simplon-Orient-Express were restarted, both avoiding defeated Germany. In 1946 followed the Orient-Express, with its branch to Warsaw via Prague the way to eastern Europe without crossing Soviet-occupied East Germany. The Oostende-Wien-Express temporarily formed a part of that system. French railways had targeted to run those trains once again as exclusive de-Luxe services, but airlines' progress made that idea unrealistic. They were ordinary expresses now with a variety of corridor coaches of many railway administrations, cosmopolitan and shabby.

The Simplon-Orient-Express in 1947 was extended to Istanbul. Bloody communist civil wars however interrupted it and temporarily it had to be diverted via Thessaloniki. Only in 1951 its Athens branch could restart. At Athens the meter gauge connects with the Peloponnesos.

In Austria (according to EFK 1947):

1Post OeBBBuchs - Vienna
1DSNCF/OeBBParis - Vienna
1ABSNCFParis - Bucharest
1WLBCIWLParis - Bucharest
1ABSNCFParis - Vienna (…)
1WLBCIWLParis - Vienna
1ABSNCFParis - Linz - Prague
1WLBCIWLParis - Linz - Prague
1WLBCIWLBasle - Warsaw (obviously did not run!)
1WRCIWLBasle - Salzburg
1WLBCIWLCalais - Basle - Vienna
1ABJDZParis - Villach - Belgrade
1WLBCIWLParis - Buchs or Chur

(D=van, A=1st, B=2nd, C=3rd class). Traction: 1-2 15kV 1020 (E94), at Salzburg 1018 (E18.2), to Vienna 12 (ex 214, 2-8-4), also 12.1 (ex 114, 2-8-4) and 19.1 (Polish 2-8-2).

Departure Edirne (Turkey) in 1949 (according to Sir Peter Allen):

5 freight wagons for securityTCDD
Locomotive class 45,5 (2-4-0)TCDDEdirne - Pithyon
1 freight wagonTCDD
4 D (vans, new delivery)TCDD from Czechia
1 D (van with kitchen)CIWLEdirne - Istanbul
1 WLABCIWLParis - Istanbul
1 ABSNCFParis - Istanbul
Some old coaches with guardTCDDEdirne - Istanbul
1 open wagon with a gunTCDDEdirne -

Simplon-Orient-Express Istanbul/ Athens - Paris, FS Pacific class 691, near San Giorgio di Nogaro, Italy, 1957 (Wolfgang Messerschmidt)

Simplon-Orient-Express, FS Franco-Crosti type locomotive 683.965, near San Giorgio di Nogaro, Oct. 1957 (Wolfgang Messerschmidt)

Express Pireas - Athens - Peloponnesos on meter gauge of SPAP, Delta class from Breda, a derivative of the MacArthur class, Corinth canal 1960 (Emil Konrad)

Balt-Orient-Express, Hungarian 242.004 and 242.001, Budapest, Nov. 1963 (Josef Otto Slezak)

Polonia-Express Warsaw - Belgrade - Sofia, Mountain class 498.1 of CSD, near Breclav, Easter 1968 (WS)

Also the East was eager to create its own Orient-Express. In 1948 it started its Balt-Orient-Express, intended as a connection from Stockholm to Istanbul, initially crossing the Baltic Sea by a train ferry to Poland, avoiding East Germany.

Section Galanta - Budapest, 1949 (according to EFK):
1WLABOrbisStockholm - Svilengrad (probably Sofia)
1WLAB OrbisBerlin - Poznan - Bucharest
1ABCMAVOdra Port-/Gdynia - Budapest
1WLABCOrbisWarsaw - Belgrade (3 times weekly)
1WLABCFRWarsaw - Bucharest (3 times weekly)
1ABCCFRWarsaw - Bucharest (4 times weekly)
1ABCJDZ/BDZWarsaw - Istanbul (2 times weekly)
1ABCJDZ/BDZWarsaw - Sofia (2 times weekly)
1DCSDPrague - Budapest
1ABCSDPrague - Budapest
1C CSDPrague - Budapest
1WRCSDPrague - Budapest
1ABCCSDPrague - Bucharest (4 times weekly)
1ABCCSDPrague - Sofia/Istanbul

Later, the Simplon-Orient- and the Balt-Orient-Express together with the Tauern-Express from Oostende, which avoided communist Hungary (an idea by Vicar Richard Ottmar), formed a group of trains, interconnected at Belgrade until 1961/62. A relief for the Balt-Orient-Express became the Pannonia-Express and the Polish section was replaced by the Polonia and the Nord-Orient-Express. In Yugoslavia, the blue/silver V200 derivative diesel, reserved for Tito's special, occasionally was used on regular trains, e.g. the Pannonia-Express. For tourists of the communist countries, there were much better couchette-car specials, the light-blue East German Touristen-Express Dresden - Varna, the blue Czech tourist trains and other ones.

Express 201 Bucharest - Budapest, successor of the Arlberg-Orient-Express, with the Romanian 2-8-4 type 142.076 after arrival at Brasov (the old "Staatsbahnhof" Kronstadt), where the Henschel-Sulzer prewar twin diesel (in the background) took over, a rare photo from 1961 (Arnold Muell)

Panonia-Express, hauled by "Dinara", one of the three Krauss-Maffei diesels reserved for Tito's special, between Belgrade and Nis in 1969 (WS)

Pannonia-Express Berlin - Bucharest - Sofia, DR class 243, Czech, Hungarian and German cars, departure Berlin Lichtenberg, May 1986 (WS)

Balt-Orient-Express Berlin - Bucharest, Czech class 350, Bratislava, Nov. 1993 (WS)

© 2007, Germany