Orient Express revisits Belgium

Trainspotters in Brussels and Flemish Brabant had a unique experience today: the iconic Orient Express sped through Vilvoorde, Brussels and Aarschot on its way from Amsterdam to Venice. 

The most luxurious train service made famous by Agatha Christie was established by the Belgian Wagons-Lits Company in 1876.  It connected Paris with Istanbul with branches extending services to London, Brussels and Athens.

It was the Belgian engineer Georges Nagelmackers from Liège who came up with the idea for a luxury train service.  Based in Brussels the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits was the first in Europe to offer luxury couchettes.

The train played a key role in Agatha Christie’s detective novel “Murder on the Orient Express” first published in 1934.  A passenger is murdered on the train’s journey through Croatia creating yet more work for that famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

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