Associated with luxury travel, adventure, intrigue and exotic discoveries, the myth of the Orient Express persists, maintained by literature and cinema, in particular.
The exhibition will evoke the society that created this legendary train, the imaginations it awakened, the landscapes it crossed, the dreams it engendered, as well as the behind-the-scenes of both the Orient Express and luxury tourism in general. On this rare occasion, two original carriages will be transported to Brussels, and visitors will be able to physically experience this extraordinary train.
The Orient Express represents the fulfilment of the dream of connecting the East and the West. For many, it also embodies a bygone era, when travel was an art. But this idea seems to be making a comeback, as railway companies are gradually reintroducing sleeper trains to meet today's overriding challenges of mobility and sustainability.
A product of its era—the transition of the 19th into the 20th century—the Orient Express could only have been born, developed and succeeded under very specific economic, technical, industrial, political and cultural conditions. The train was part of the sprawling Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL), founded in 1872 by the Belgian Georges Nagelmackers, and in its original configuration, its run was quite short-lived.
On the occasion of EUROPALIA TRAINS & TRACKS, Train World presents the Orient Express not only as a train of dreams, but also as the exceptional result of the needs and means of the industrial society of that time. Photographs, posters, paintings, archival documents, plans, furniture and references to literature and film will allow visitors to familiarise themselves with this legendary train.