TH2023 T02 1 Orient Express

Season 2023 – Talk 02.1 – The Orient Express

In The Orient Express Margaret Denyer tells the story of this luxury train over the last 150 years.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Georges Nagelmackers :

Margaret starts by telling us about this Belgian civil engineer and businessman who travels to the United States where he experiences Pullman carriages and believes that there is a market for luxury trains in Europe. He founds a company in 1873 which becomes the legendary Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits.

In 1882 the first train composed completely of Wagon Lits carriages leaves Paris for Vienna.

James Allport:

We hear that he is the General Manager of the Midland Railway and invites George Pullman to Britain. They agree that Pullman will supply carriages built in his US works for use in England where a supplement will be charged.

In 1881 the first Pullman only train starts to run between London and Brighton and in 1933 it becomes the Brighton Belle.

The Orient Express gains popularity:

The early years of the 20th Century see the Orient Express start to become famous with Kings and Princes, the famous and the wealthy. The routes expand.

The First World War and after:

All services stop at the start of the war in August 1914. It ends in November 1918 with the Armistice where a Wagon Lits car is used for the ceremony in the forest at Compiègne.

Orient Express services restart but with changes to the routes. The trains can no longer travel through Germany and so the Simplon tunnel is used. The services become popular with the rich and famous again.

Listen to the podcast and hear Margaret tell the rest of the story including the decline of the service and its rebirth from the ashes.

About this podcast:

This is an edited recording of a talk given to the Farnham u3a World History  Group .

It is not always possible to use all of the images presented in the original talk because of copyright reasons.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, PodchaserSpotifyStitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use the music in this talk.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2023

Author: Tim D

In the early 1970s Mr Timothy & his Phonograph was a popular mobile disco around Leeds University and Tim was known as MrT. Tim also spent 9 years broadcasting a weekly programme on Hospital Radio in Wakefield. He worked for more than 40 years for large industrial organisations and spent his last 15 years in global commercial management roles. Following retirement he started making podcasts in 2017.