Faded beauty of a bygone jewel

When I was a kid I watched the old Agatha Christie whodunnit, Murder on the Orient Express – and ever since I’ve had a strange yearning to travel on the infamous Venice-Simplon.  Imagine my disappointment to come across this piece in MailOnline travel about one of their abandoned old trains.  Dutch photographer Brian Romeijn took some eerily haunting shots of it: rusty, dusty and rather sad…  😦


Haunting photos show decaying ‘Orient Express’ train that was once a symbol of luxury

An urban explorer has captured these remarkable photos of the decaying remains of a passenger train that was once one of the finest ways to travel.

With their glory days long gone, the train carriage and locomotive have been left to rot at a train yard in Belgium, where they have become a popular attraction for photographers and adventurers.

Rotterdam-based photographer Brian Romeijn, 40, snapped these eerie images, which show the abandoned train’s rusting exterior, torn seats, dust-covered windows and floors and compact engineer’s room.

The train carriage and locomotive have been left to rot at a train yard in Belgium, attracting urban explorers

The train carriage and locomotive have been left to rot at a train yard in Belgium, attracting urban explorers

Rotterdam-based photographer Brian Romeijn, 40, snapped these eerie images        His snaps show torn seats and dusty floors
It has gained a reputation among urban explorers as an old Orient Express train, but it is a former Belgian national train

It has gained a reputation among urban explorers as an old Orient Express train, but it is a former Belgian national train

It has gained a reputation among urban explorers as an old Orient Express train. Those trains were a symbol of luxury when they operated under that legendary name from 1883 to 2009.

But that suspicion is incorrect. The locomotive, according to www.seat61.com, is ‘the only survivor of three class 654s built in 1936 for the Oostende-Brussels-Cologne run, redeployed after WW2 to Brussels-Tournai’. 

After 126 years on the rails, the last train service operating under the Orient Express name was from Strasbourg to Vienna in December 2009, bringing an end to a celebrated history.

The Orient Express, when it started in 1883 – run by La Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits – was actually known as the Express d’Orient and ran between Paris and Istanbul.

It became the Orient Express in 1891 and by the 1930s operated scheduled services throughout Europe.

It’s not to be confused with the privately run Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

Very few Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits luxury carriages still exist. 

This snap shows the compact engineer's room, where equipment is rusting, gauges are still installed and wires are exposed

This snap shows the compact engineer’s room, where equipment is rusting, gauges are still installed and wires are exposed

Romeijn said the engineer's room was 'kind of claustrophobic and the noise of the engine must have been tremendous'

Romeijn said the engineer’s room was ‘kind of claustrophobic and the noise of the engine must have been tremendous’

The abandoned locomotive and carriage have become a popular attraction for photographers and adventurers

The abandoned locomotive and carriage have become a popular attraction for photographers and adventurers

After visiting the forgotten train in Belgium, Romeijn told MailOnline Travel: ‘I really could feel how it must have been used in its heyday.

Wealthy gentlemen with high hats are joined by ladies in beautiful dresses on their journey.

‘Also the area of the engineer was kind of claustrophobic. There is very little space inside and the noise of the engine must have been tremendous.’


You can buy some of Brian’s gorgeous urban art at http://www.werkaandemuur.nl/nl/beeldmaker/Brian-Romeijn/7863

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