Last Ever Orient Express from Paris

Jun 7th, 2007, 06:41 AM
  #1  
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Last Ever Orient Express from Paris

There have been many marvellous accounts of European train journeys here on Fodors (not least from the dearly lamented Ben Haines). Folk here might want to note a moment of European travel history at 5.17 pm on Friday 8 June, when the last ever Orient Express pulls out of Paris’ Gare de L’Est station. Every day since 1883 (except in times of war and strife) there’s been a direct train from Paris to Vienna. On Friday it runs for the last time. The name doesn’t quite die, though, for a new Strasbourg to Vienna service (which starts Saturday) will carry the illustrious name. More details in hidden europe’s e-news (dated 7 June and numbered 2007/15): see www.hiddeneurope.co.uk/barticles.php?tPath=1.

Of course, there are also a number of tourist trains (with more than a hint of luxury and price tags to match) that draw on the Orient Express name in one way or another. But, for those on a budget (and aren't most of us?), the new Strasbourg to Vienna service still offers a chance to ride on the real Orient Express. The train follows the traditional route, crossing the Rhine at Kehl and on via Stutgart, Munich and Salzburg that has been used by the Orient Express for over 120 years.
hidden_europe is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 06:50 AM
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Maybe Ben will do a flyover when the train pulls out of the station.
kerouac is online now  
Jun 7th, 2007, 06:53 AM
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Though it may be dying in name now the idea of a glamerous Orient Express went to the scrapheap of history long ago.

In recent decades the train was one of the worst in Europe from articles i read, being largely used by Balkan immigrants going to and fro western Europe - kind of a cattle car.

I'm sure the Strasbourg-Vienna train will be the typical nice modern train.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 07:02 AM
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I so fondly remember my trip from Paris to Vienna in 1981 on the Orient Express; boarding the train at night and pulling away from the lights of Paris.

Then waking in the morning to the completely different landscape of green fields and onion dome churches in the beautiful morning light.

I was grateful to the person who told me there was no food service on the Orient Express (prior to the restoration) and loved the picnic dinner/breakfast that we brought on board.
adrienne is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 07:39 AM
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Thanks for posting. I wasn't aware of the change. I took the Orient Express during my first trip to Europe in 1969. It had lost some of its luster by then, but not its atmosphere or appeal. Like Adrienne, I was glad we had been told there was no diner so our food basket came in handy.

After I got married, my DW and I took the Venice Simplon Orient Express from Venice to London in 1983. Fabulous trip, which we still talk about frequently. But it wasn't the "original".

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