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.