Notes from Night Trains: The Rise and Fall of the Sleeper by Andrew Martin

p. 23 “I travelled on Eurostar on the second the day of its operation. It was November 1994.  I picked up a leaflet headlined ‘What Next’ which boasted ‘In early 1997 night trains will be introduced travelling from Scotland, the North West , South Wales and the West into Paris. .. Passengers can enjoy a good night’s rest in comfortable accommodation and arrive refreshed in the morning .. The Nightstar never materialised, although they were built, with both day and night carriages -and a new service depot at Manchester sprouted a billboard reading “LE Eurostar est icic”. But the business case was killed off by the budget airlines … The trains were eventually sold to Canada… their journey south would have taken them via Stratford in east London and the only reason Stratford station was built – and the reason it is called Stratford International – was to serve these trains.”

p. 75 In 2010 another sleeper train began running between Moscow and Nice via Warsaw. The Nice Express is operated by Russian Railways, RZD: it provides the longest continuous train journey available in Europe, and runs only in summer. The second longest is also provided by RZD; from Paris Gare de l’Est to Mscow, which runs all year round, and started in 2011. Russia has a broad gaueg and both trains switch gauges at Brest.

p. 134 “ On 4 October 1883, the first Express d’Orient – as the train was known until 1891, when its name was changed to the Orient Express, in acknowledgement that the British and Americans were its main customers – departed from Gare de l’Est (or the Gare de Strasbourg, as it was then known.) This very first trip was oner a special, provisional route. It went Strasbourg-Munich-Vienna-Budapest-Bucharest, then to Girgiu on the Danube in Romania. Passengers would cross the Danube by ferry to Rustchuk in Bulgaria, where they took a train to Varna on the Black Sea … from there they would begin a 14-hou voyage to Constantinople…the journey took 81 hours and 40 minutes eastbound and 77 hours 49 minutes the other way… The rail connection between Paris and Constantinople would not be completed until 1889.

p. 153 “Speaking at the Hay Festival in 2015, Jean Seaton, official historian of the BBC, said that George Howard, who was the BBC chairman from 1980 to 1983, had claimed expenses for using a prostitute on the Orient Express. The expense form was found in a safe by a newly appointed secretary. The previous incumbent, Jean Seaton said, had suffered a nervous breakdown, and he (this was a male secretary) had deliberately left the expenses form lying about as a warning that his successor ‘would have to deal with the chairman and he had to be managed around these young women’.”p. 195 The Sud Express “The service started by Nagelmackers in 1887, running from |Calais to Lisbon via Irun in northern Spain. .. Nagelmackers also inaugurated the Nord Express from St Petersburg in 1896 with the idea of connecting it to the Sud, the fulcrum being his home town of Liege, but the through link was never forged into one train, and the Russian Revolution, and the descent of the Iron Curtain, would kill the project.

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