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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > October 2017 > Graphic History

Graphic History

How a rail service steamed to fame

1883 BIRTH OF THE ORIENT EXPRESS

Its name has become synonymous with luxury travel – and, as the setting for dozens of fictional thrillers – intrigue and mystery. The Orient Express was a rail service that ran from Paris to Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul), created in the Belle Époque by Belgian businessman Georges Nagelmackers. After touring the USA in one of George Pullman’s famous ‘sleeper’ trains, Nagelmackers realised that there was an opportunity to bring luxury rail travel to Europe, and so he founded his Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits in 1872. Its most famous service was the Orient Express, which made its maiden journey in October 1883. Nagelmackers, wishing to outshine his American competitor, arranged to have rusting old Pullman cars stand adjacent to his train as it left the Paris station. With its deluxe interior and silver service, the Orient Express soon became popular among the rich and famous.

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About History Revealed

"From raiders to invades: Medievalist Dr Ryan Lavelle tells the story of how the Vikings dropped their hit-and-run tactics and instead banded together to form a Great Heathen Army, eventually conquering a large part of Britain. Also in the issue, find out how a Lancastrian widow came to marry a Yorkist king during the Wars of the Roses, and what happened when a German monk dared to take on the Pope with a 500-anniversary feature on Martin Luther's Reformation. Plus, inside Hitler's last gamble at the Battle of the Bulge, the spy who tried to kill Lenin and the Atomic Age in pictures."
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