The main route from the French capital to Istanbul was curtailed in 1977, and a shorter trip – from Paris to Vienna – was introduced. This ran until 2007, when the service was cut again, now starting out for Vienna from the north-easterly French city of Strasbourg. The end finally came on 14 December 2009, when the last of these trains departed.
Orient Express was launched by the hotel group Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits.
And now SNCF, which has owned the brand since 1977, has ambitious plans for the Orient Express name. A new Orient Express company will be launched in April, which will emphasize the high-end side of the trademark with a range of haute-couture luggage.
Initially, the new train service will retrace the abridged route from Paris to Vienna, but will eventually cover the full odyssey down through the Balkans to Istanbul.
SNCF’s Orient Express is likely to splice old and new, with antique touches that tie in with the brand’s image – but also modern rolling stock to offer a speedy journey.
Source: Daily Mail