INTRODUCTION: One of the world's legendary railway trains will be revived next year by a London-based company.
SV New train departs platform
SV INTERIOR Dining car, wine being poured
SV Shot through window of countryside
SV Woman diner
SV Carriage lighting
SV Passenger car.
GV EXTERIOR Orient Express leaving station
Background: INTRODUCTION: One of the world's legendary railway trains will be revived next year by a London-based company. The Orient Express ended its long history as a glamour-train four years ago, but, with a revised route, will take to the tracks again, with carriages and trappings refurbished.
SYNOPSIS: The original Orient Express, as it wound its way from Paris to Constantinople (Istanbul), was immortalised by writers such as Agatha Christie, Paul Morand and Graham Greene. It was glamorised as a meeting place for monarchs, millionaires and, according to legend, secret agents. The famous train has seen many changes since it took its first trans-European journey in 1883.
The new Orient Express service will be using carriages, now refurbished, which last made their famed journey more than four years ago. Thirty-one carriages -- first class sleepers, dining cars and passenger carriages -- have been faithfully restored with the modern innovation of air-conditioning. The original carriages, sumptuously decorated with velvet, crystal chandeliers and antique furniture, disappeared after the First World War.
The new Orient Express, set for its first journey next May, will travel twice-weekly from London via Paris and Lausanne to Venice. During the ski season, the train will also run via the Arlberg in Austria.
The operators estimate that the total cost of the service will be 10 million pounds Sterling (18.6 million US dollars). They say a 70 per cent occupancy rate will recoup this cost in four years.
And the price of a train journey which echoes the excitement and glamour of bygone days? A one-way ticket will cost passengers 250 pounds Sterling (465 dollars). The London-based operators are confident of success. They estimate they have had thousands of inquiries about the new service.
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