23 November 2007

Orient Express

At last! - we've had two days of heavy rain - necessary but perhaps not ideal when making the 20 kilometres trip up the mountain to Sospel. Here you see one of the four carriages of the famous Orient Express train dating from 1929, which are located right by the beautiful Gare de Sospel - I'll show you the railway station tomorrow.

The train ,of course, was immortalised by Agatha Christie - and Hercule Poirot. One carriage is Turkish, from 1949, another was an Italian restaurant car from 1938. Three carriages were restored and used as a restaurant until not so long ago. Now the restaurant is closed and the carriages show more and more signs of neglect. This one is in the worst condition. I heard a rumour it was to be dismantled and removed. I hope not.

The friends I visited yesterday in Sospel, thought the Orient Express was originally bought by an Englishman - later sold to a society who opened the restaurant - but I can't find any confirmation on this.

Tomorrow you'll see the other carriages, which are in better condition, standing alongside the railway station of this beautiful mountain village.


  1. The passage of time certainly can be unkind in some cases. I hope that it can be restored because of its long history!

  2. It is really sad to think that all the romantique aventures d'Hercule Poirot are languishing in a railway siding. Just think of all the mystery and excitement; perhaps we could reclaim its lost youth and vibrancy. We could make a new script and get it back on track.
    We just need a few good murders !!!

  3. Such a pity. It makes no sense, really. Someone is not thinking straight...

  4. a well intentioned restoration project gone wrong. We are losing "stuff" a fast rate....but, think of the ruins of Ephesus or Persepolis.....not much different. Times change, attitudes wax and wain.

    Glad to see that Ixus is working perfectly ;-)

  5. So pleased you've had rain - we have had heaps here!!

    What a terrible shame - this should be a world heritage listed item - such history, mystery and adventure!!!

  6. Yes, that is a shame - very sad. On a trip from Paris to the Quercy a few years ago, I saw some cars from Le Mistral on a side track, also very sad. But at least they were in better condition.

  7. Thank you for this shot from an Agatha Christie fan.

  8. je l'avais loupé ce post, c'est une bien triste fin, il pourrait être dans un musée du train.


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