Made in Belgium

In 1883, the Belgian travel logistics company Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL) created a new long-distance passenger train service: the Orient Express.

The CIWL was founded by the Belgian civil engineer Georges Nagelmackers, who had the intention to make international travel less rough. He wanted to build a hotel train, with sleeping and dining cars. This luxurious train would allow the rich and famous to travel from London to Istanbul in style.

Pure Luxury

Each and every train travelling on this railroad symbolised the wealth acquired in that period by the European
colonies. Luxury products such as ivory, gold, silk, etc. were abundantly used to decorate the interior of the sumptuous cars. Needless to say this train inspired many writers and film directors… The Orient Express is a milestone in European train history and marks the transition to the modern age of railroad transportation.

Chemin De Fer: The railway wagon door handle

For the Orient Express, a special door handle was developed that could be installed on the narrow doors of the first class compartments. It was the famous Chemin de Fer model. This asymmetrical door handle was composed of a L and a T grip, and the T stood for “tirer” (pull). With this door handle, passengers always knew when to pull or push the door.


Chemin de Fer designs

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