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   Orient-Express adieu...

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Saloon of the Sultan’s General Izzet Pasha at Hademkeui camp during the Balkan Wars, 1912 or 1913, photo G. Remond (coll. WS)

Balkan-Zug Berlin – Breslau – Constantinople with Hungarian 301.502 near Bisco on 28 May 1917 (Oesterreichisches Eisenbahn-Museum)

Balkanzug Munich - Istanbul, Bavarian class S3/6, Traunstein, probably
Jan.15, 1916 (Georg Greiner/ coll. Wilhelm Tausche)

Balkanzug with Bavarian P3/5N and Prussian cars at Cuprija, Serbia (coll. Wilhelm Tausche)

During WWI Germany had replaced the Orient-Express with the Balkanzug. “The Balkanzug is the ‘show train’ of the world”, wrote an Allied spy (or journalist), J.M. de Beaufort, in his book “My Secret Service in Vienna - Constantinople - Nish - Belgrade - Asia Minor etc., by the Man who dined with the Kaiser”. The dinner took place in Nish, Serbia, and de Beaufort described the Kaiser’s arrival by the Balkanzug. Of course in reality Kaiser Wilhelm did come by his own train, now painted grey in military style.

First departure Munich, January 15, 1916:

S 3/6 PacificBavarianMunich - Salzburg
1D (van)
1WL (sleeper)requisitioned CIWLMunich - Istanbul
1 AB (1st 2nd class)Bavarian?Munich - Belgrade
1 WR (diner)requisitioned CIWLMunich - Vienna
2 AB (1st 2nd class)BavarianMunich - Salzburg
Colors:S3/6 green/black, CIWL teak, coaches dark-green.
At Vienna it was united with the section from Berlin Anhalter Bahnhof and at Galanta with the section from Berlin Schlesischer Bahnhof via Breslau.

The Balkanzug should have replaced the Orient-Express for ever. The dream was a German train to Baghdad! However, the Balkanzug ended in 1918.In 1919 came the "Orient-Express Train de Luxe militaire "Paris - Prague and Paris - Vienna - Warsaw, circumventing defeated Germany and even Alsace via Delle and the Arlberg. With the French "Tricolore" on the Wagons-Lits, it became known as the "Entente-Zug". In 1920 it was replaced by a de-Luxe Boulogne - Paris - Prague - Warsaw and Vienna with sleepers from Oostende and Amsterdam via Strasbourg, avoiding Prussia. In 1921 the Orient-Express to Bucharest replaced it, combined with the former Carlsbad-Express and the Prague branch. The Oostende sleepers crossed impoverished Germany now by an ordinary express. In the east, the Orient-Express now took the way to Bucharest via Arad instead of Orsova.

"Orient-Express train de luxe militaire", SBB class A3/5, near Wettingen, Switzerland (SBB)

D54 Oostende - Vienna, replacing the Oostende-Wien-Express, Bavarian S3/6, Straubing, April 15, 1920 (Rudolf Tauber, coll. Helmut Tauber, Wilhelm Tausche)