The Orient Express made its maiden voyage on June 5, 1883, traveling from Paris, France, to Vienna, Austria. It was a luxury to take a ride on the train during an era when travel was often difficult and dangerous.
A Dream Come To Life
In his book, Orient Express: The Life and Times of the World’s Most Famous Train, E. H. Cookridge explains that Georges Nagelmackers, the son of a well-known Belgian banker, had a vision to build “a train that would span a continent, running on a continuous ribbon of metal for more than 1,500 miles.” Nagelmackers was inspired after traveling to the United States and seeing firsthand advanced train travel, particularly George Pullman’s amazing and luxurious sleeper cars. In 1882, Nagelmackers made his dream a reality and invited passengers to travel 1,243 miles on his “Train Eclair de luxe” meaning the “lightning luxury train”.