Yeah those coaches would be bare of hardware and any leather thats for sure.
I think one of the differences is that the United States is still very young compared to that part of the world. Where we have things that are from the "Birth Of America" and we think its super old, its still new construction compared to whats over there. I think that comes into play when they see an "old" passenger train sitting out in a field.
The Orient Express runs from where to where? Betcha couldn't get on to photo
the California Zephyr if it was parked somewhere. Wonder if it was dropped there
because of the Ukraine activity?
NO..these cars have been sitting on the Małaszewicze yard since 2009. The pictures are from around 2010-11 depending on the source.
They have an interesting story and a sad ending.
They are original Orient Express cars from 1929.
In the 1980's, a Swiss tour operator (Intraflug) acquired 24 Orient Express car from CIWL, to charter Luxus Rail travel across Europe.
In 1988 they organized (with Sony electronics and Fuji TV) what is call "The Extreme Orient Express". It was a 15 days trip from Paris to Tokyo. (via Berlin-Moscow) and yes they had to switch twice the cars bogies (trucks) during the trip (once for the wide gauge use in Russia and once for 1 meter gauge use in Japan). Once in Japan the cars were used there for 3 months. The cars were then brought back to Europe by...boat. It was a one time event.
In 1992, Intraflug put these Orient Express cars at the service of Michael Jackson during his European tour. And then well the company went into financial difficulties and sold the 24 cars to another Swiss tour operator (Mittelthurgau).
They sent 15 of the cars to Russia to be definitively converted to wide gauge and used them on the Transiberian Orient Express, the other 9 stayed in Switzerland for European travel.
In 2001 Mittelthurgau went into financial difficulties and in 2002 an Austrian company took the 15 "Russian" cars over under the name "Orient Express train de luxe GmbH, Wien".
It seem the Austrian company sub-leased these cars to a Russian Rail travel company "Orient Express Service", who already operated different older consist.The Orient Express Service seem to have ceased operation in 2009, date of their last website update !!!!
Thanks for the backstory on these! I found the pictures on Reddit.com under a thread I enjoy about train pictures but there was no story other than this person found them there and thought they were interesting.
That's a really intriguing find! To stumble upon these coaches abandoned (?) in Eastern Europe is appropriate given the mysterious air associated with the train in its heyday. But I would rather see them as permanent exhibits in a museum than to be cut up or left to rot. (Is there a museum dedicated to the Orient Express, or at least CIWL?)
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