Travel | December 2, 2022 3:26 pm

Accor Is Restoring Vintage Train Carriages From the Orient Express

A bold travel experience is on the way

Orient Express car
The Presidential Suite, located in a car that once ran on the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express.

When train routes come to mind, one name tends to loom over all the rest — the Orient Express. (Sorry, Northeast Corridor stans.) The name harkens back to a previous era of luxurious rail travel, and inspired a classic and oft-adapted mystery novel. With luxury train travel making a comeback, it’s not all that shocking to see the Orient Express itself getting back into the spotlight.

Much of that has been due to the French luxury hotel company Accor, which has used the Orient Express name for a series of railway experiences, including the La Dolce Vita train. Now, it seems that they’re doubling down on the Orient Express, with a new initiative underway to renovate 17 train cars that were a part of the storied line almost a century ago.

As Smithsonian Magazine reports, the cars were first part of the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express line. Historian Arthur Mettetal was using YouTube for research purposes as he delved into the history of the Orient Express. In one clip, he discovered a number of train cars in Poland that bore hallmarks of the original rain line. His research led to Accor purchasing the cars, and a renovation process is now underway. The renovated cars will be back in action beginning in 2024.

Accor is also offering some previews of what the experience of traveling in the renovated cars might hold. The Orient Express Presidential Suite will be shown off via “virtual immersion” as part of this year’s Design Miami/ fair. If the photos are any indication, the work being done by architect Maxime d’Angeac on the renovations is tapping into something both timeless and opulent.