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Old 12-08-2017, 06:43 AM   #21 (permalink)
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The Real Orient Express is running in my garden:
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Old 12-12-2017, 02:09 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Would love to see photos of this trip! please do share!
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:21 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Great video Fred! Cheers,
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:21 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Triple gauge track?? !!

Pray tell, what gauges?

Be sure to visit my site, lots of technical tips & modifications, and a functional search.

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Old 12-30-2017, 06:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Hi everybody:
Well this evening my wife and I saw the new Murder on the Orient Express. A very good film, as far as authenticity I am perplexed, but having been a set designer of 7 films I can understand the motivation to do it the way they did. First they transfered the Balkan Alps into the Himalaya or some of the more remote parts of Canada or New Zealand , which can be understood for dramatic purposes as it does make that lonely tiny train seem more vulnerable. Then the avalanch recalls one that really happened on the old Moffat road and almost toppled one of their mallets into the devils slide! A very fascinating real life adventure to employ in cinema. The 4% or over grade is also quite far from the realities of miteleuropa. Brod at the end is actually in Yougoslavia at the time and I know from having done the Athens branch of the Orient express (almost to Bulgaria) that that part of the line follows the Save and the Danube rivers and is absolutely flat and boring land., So as a film director putting it in such a spectacular scenery makes sense, as the line is mainly quite boring scenery wise.
Now for the train it is also quite impressive: The loco an Est mountain actually did haul for many years the Orient Express between Paris and Basle, so one can say that they did do their research well as it is an authentic loco for that train, alas not in Turkey or Bulgaria. It is fitted with a snow plow and an american style headlight (which Bulgarian engines did have), Now for the cars: Well its a pretty good replica of the Wagons lits cars used on the train except that they ride on Gresley trucks typical of the East Coast route to Scotland.
Most likely they built fake bodies and interiors and needed some chassis to put them on so they rented some old Gresley coach frames. However details such as the battery boxes under the frames are correct! What is totally fake and very American is the observation platform at the end. There again it was probably a request of the director who needed some place to have scenes away from it all.
Well happy new year to all.
And of course the trestle is totally American and there are none like it in the Balkans except on some narrow gauge lines and logging ralways. You have to understand that over here in Europe steel is cheaper than lumber.
All these show that they did do their research but the dramatic needs prompted modifications to the real thing. Also it is more convenient, especially in such restrained space as a railway car, to be able to remove a wall or side pannel even a roof pannel to take certain shots and angles which is probably why they prefered building the cars from the trucks up to using authentic ones where you can't touch one thing, as it is now a historical relic. Also the consist seems pretty good although the general practice at the time was one baggage car at each end on WL trains. It probably did not include too many cars on the eastern end of the run. But in the western end there were many more (through sleepers for Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, and Athens) which must have been dropped of as it went east. Those trains, as the film shows well, were mainly run for the benefit of the English clientel, which could afford them.
Well happy new year to all!

Last edited by du-bousquetaire; 12-30-2017 at 06:22 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-31-2017, 06:25 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by vsmith View Post
The current OE cruise train is trying to recreate an OE that existed only during the salad days of trans Europe luxury train travel that existed before the depression and WW2. The OE Mr Grumpy ;-) is describing is very much the train that existed in the post war years when it was really nothing more than a regional train with a glorified name plate attached. The fact that the cold war cut off the route to the "orient" and they instead redirected it to Venice says alot about what a ghost of the original train it had become.

The Simplon OE is an echo of an era long long gone. But I would love to ride it.
in retrospect perhaps referring to du-bousquetaire as mr grumpy was a little unfair so do accept my apology. I travelled out of Paris est on the orient express in 1979 I think using my interrail pass. It was incredibly slow once we got past Belgrade. If I recall some Russian carriages were added to the train at some point possibly at Budapest but my memory is very vague on thisI remember that you had to step up about 9 inches at the corridor connection. Would these carriages have had their bogies swapped because of the gauge change. Be interested to hear du-bousquetaire view on this
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:42 AM   #27 (permalink)
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It did cross the iron curtain most of the time though, although at times like the Hungarian crisis in 1956 it could have been detoured, As I said in an earlier post an early James Bond film (I think it was the first one) shows that reality quite well.) I am not familiar with the original direct orient as I travelked once to Vienna on the Arlberg orient exp. (and thence to Greece) and to Venice on the Simplon orient express. I have a few books on the history of Wagon lits and could probably find the consist somewhere, but it changed considerably as through cars were added or taken off this long trip, with many capitals reached by branches. As far as I know though there was hardly any throught raffic from Russia as it would have been much simpler for Russians going to Istamboul directly trough Ukraine, Roumania and Bulgaria. However there were through Russian sleepers to Belgrade on other trains, some might have continued to the east but it doesn't make sens geographically. Its too bad the film makers didn't consult a real knowledgeable railfan as some of the German built Bulgarian 4-8-2 have been restored to working condition and run on railfan specials regularly now. These would have been more apropriate for this film, or the Roumanian berkshires. But it was nice to see the high drivered Est mountain doing the honors, never the less in surroundings which she never saw during her active career. (Now preserved in Switzerland it takles the Gothard pass now and then with double headers and electic helpers no doubt). 80" drivers would be quite useless on 4% grades or more.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:05 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Hi Jonsop, thanks for the recognition that I don't try to be grumpy but to inform. I model Pennsy also, so I know just how hard it is to find prototype info on a railroad 4000 miles away... To get back to this thread two infos I do have: There were Russian sleepers going to the west: My father once took a trip to Bielarussia from Poland and did make some photos for me of the shed somewhere on the border between the two where they changed the trucks at 330 AM. These were not digital photos though.

The second is the Nord Express used to handle a direct Russian sleeper to Paris Nord and the 232 U1 actually hauled it for a bout a year or so (it was introduced just before steam was changed to electric traction to Belgium). it also hauled scandinavian sleepers. I use a Marklin DRG shurtzwagen sleeper on mine and some german cars but no Russian sleeper...
Sorry to answer so much later. Best
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:36 PM   #29 (permalink)
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For one thing US modelers of european railways should distinguish two totally different types of luxury trains opertated by the CIWLT, at least untill circa 1939. Day trains operated with very tight schedules (extra fare) with Pullman or salon cars. These were usually run in pairs called "couplage" one with kitchen and one without. Some of the name of these trains are: the Golden Arrow, L'Etoile du Nord, l'Oiseau Bleu, the Cte d'Azur rapide, the Sud Express, etc. usualy two to three couplages were set between WL baggage cars. And the other type were long distance trains made up mainly of sleepers, diners and baggage cars: Such as the 3 Orient Expresses, the Nord Express Paris-St Petersburg & Scandinavia,the Blue train, the Rome express Etc. None of these carried Pullmans the sleepers were converted into compartments by the attendants. So the VSOE does something which the CIWLT never did. In a way its a great experience, but it remains quite different from what these great trains were in reality. Now, the Keneth Brannagh film is so far off, that I won't bother to grump about it. Even the older film was full of mistakes, most railway themed films are... As far as I know the CIWLT never owned or operated an observation car, nor used Gresley bogies.
I certainly hope these tidbits of luxury train operations in Europe did not spoil Mr Mebane fun on the VSOE. That wasn't my objective at all.
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