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Thread: Dinner is Served in the Dining Car...

  1. #31

    Default Sleeper

    Train operator MAV will re-introduce old-timey sleepers on the Brussels-Budapest-Istanbul line. New overnight lines operated with this rolling stock are also planned from Budapest to Krakow, Gdansk and Venice.

    How about New York-Atlanta? Depart Penn Station at 6pm, arrive refreshed following morning at seven after a great dinner and breakfast?

    Or New York-Chicago?

    Or how 'bout Washington-Orlando?

    San Francisco-Seattle?

    Los Angeles-Las Vegas?

    Your rental car awaits you at your destination.

    Thanks to tersyxus at ssc for the pics.

  2. #32


    ^ very nice interiors. Far nicer than my experience of sleeper trains - a 48 hour journey across India - absolute hell.

    Anyway, i've always liked trains, so thanks for posting these pictures - thats what a train interior is supposed to look like (like in the days when my gt gt grandad was a train driver). I'd certainly consider travelling by sleeper train through Europe - or anywhere else for that matter - if they were like these, even with a slower journey time (than flying). Far nicer than the trains i use: 'one railway', more like cattle trucks than trains.

    When will MAV be introducing these trains?

  3. #33


    ^ Rolling stock deliveries begin in April.

  4. #34
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    I would love to travel this way. Budapest to Istanbul sounds amazing!!!

  5. #35


    ^ That run used to come with (optional) ladies.

    (Made the trip seem shorter.)

  6. #36


    ^ Do you mean prostitutes? (sorry, maybe a bit naive of me to ask....)

  7. #37


    From Time Magazine, October 31, 1960:


    The French President and a special envoy of the Sultan of Turkey were on the flag-bedecked platform at Paris' Care de I'Est when the Orient Express chugged proudly off on its maiden trip to Constantinople in 1883.

    On that first trip, the 2,000-odd miles took six days and six hours, what with all the border ceremonies and crowds along the track.* The seats had velvet covers topped by Brussels lace, and lush damask .curtains hung from the windows; the fittings were of solid oak and mahogany; on the outside of every car was a coat of arms and the proud gold lettering, "Les Grands Express Européens." Hand-cut glass separated the sleeping compartment from the outside aisle.

    In elegant salon cars, diners lingered over oysters and chilled glasses of Veuve Cliquot served by attendants in morning coats, light blue silk breeches, white stockings and buckled shoes. Elegant prostitutes provided companionship for the lonely on the long journey to the Orient.
    Spies & Vanishing Briefcases. For decades the Orient Express served as grist for the mills of novelists (e.g., Agatha Christie, Graham Greene, Eric Ambler), who conjured up (a) fur-wrapped beauties from Hungary in conspiratorial conversation with spies in the corridor, (b) muffled sobs in the next compartment, or (c) vanishing briefcases.

    The only things that ever really vanished were the good service and the passengers. By the 1920s most of the lush old cars had been replaced with stern steel models, and the porters wore drab brown, offering special attention only when the palm was well greased with hard currency in advance. Then came airplanes and the Iron Curtain. By last year the traffic on the old line between Vienna and Bucharest was down to an average 1½ passengers per trip.

    Last week the coldly practical railroad experts of Europe, meeting in Leningrad, were agreed: the old Orient Express no longer paid its way, must therefore be eliminated. Now anyone who wanted to spend two days traveling to Istanbul would have to endure the slicker, upstart Simplon-Orient Express, which swings south through Switzerland into Italy and then on across Yugoslavia, delivering its passengers efficiently enough but without the luxury their grandfathers had known.

    *By 1905 it was down to a snappy two days twelve hours.

  8. #38


    Quote Originally Posted by Meerkat View Post
    ^ very nice interiors. Far nicer than my experience of sleeper trains - a 48 hour journey across India - absolute hell.
    Have you seen Darjeeling Limited?

  9. #39


    ^No - I actually hadn't heard of it till now. I might hire it out one evening and watch it. Might bring back some memories of my journey

    Are you interested in trains ablarc?

  10. #40

  11. #41


    Moscow to St. Petersburg is a 404-mile ride. The route’s been busy since Czarist times, linking Russia’s versions of New York and Chicago (which --at 810 miles—lie twice as far apart).

    Last December, to considerable fanfare, the Moscow-St. Petersburg run acquired its first “true” high-speed service (“Sapsan”), courtesy of Siemens rolling stock and extensive track upgrades. This cut the route’s fastest time from 4h30m (89.7 mph avg.) to 3h45m (107.7 mph avg.).

    As on a plane, there are no intermediate stops on two out of the three Sapsan runs. The new train operates at 125 mph on the better stretches of track, but mostly it doesn’t. It’s like Acela --almost high speed. But no matter: on this route, the trains cream the planes in passenger volume.

    But not for the reason you think.

    If you consult a train schedule, you’ll find a paltry handful of these fast daytime trains, with service gaps of three hours or more. Where are the trains?

    As you scroll down, the answer unfolds: the great majority of the trains on this busy route leave in the evening, and they take an unhurried eight hours or more to make the non-stop trip. That’s because the capitalists who own these trains want you to have a good night’s sleep.

    And they want you to spend plenty on blinis and vodka –to say nothing of a great breakfast.

    The latest of these trains is hyperbolically named the Grand Express; it may be grand, but it’s no express; it takes its time (8h55m) to waft you between the two cities at a languid average of 45.3 mph. Folks who have also taken the hour-shorter Red Arrow prefer the slower Grand Express for the additional hour of sleep.

    Actually, the perfect length of an overnight train trip for business purposes is not nine hours, but thirteen. If you depart at 6pm, you can have a couple of drinks in the club car, a laid-back three-course meal heavy on the comfort food, a couple more drinks in the club car, and a nice little nightcap while you enjoy the flat screen TV in your cabin –or the free WiFi.

    Your scheduled time of arrival is 7am, though most trains arrive about a half-hour early. Plenty of time for a relaxed, cholesterol-laden breakfast before the big meeting –and anyway, they don’t actually kick you off the train until 9am.

    At an average speed of 64.8mph, the new Twenty-First Century Limited could get you reliably from New York to Chicago in exactly 12-1/2 hours. The reason? The freight lines have agreed to give it track priority. No more ridiculous eight-hour delays.

    But that’s not all! 12-1/2 hour non-stop trips can also be taken linking Chicago with Philadelphia (790 miles @ 63.2mph), Washington 710 miles @56.8mph), while thirteen-hour travel times would take you from Chicago to Boston (984 miles @ 75.7mph), New Orleans (920 miles @ 70.8mph), and Montreal (850 miles @ 65.4mph).

    It’s not high speed, so guess how much money has been spent on upgrading track or locomotion?

    We can buy the sleeping, dining and club cars from Russia.

  12. #42


    If anyone is interested: more sections of our high speed rail line have recently opened. Florence to Bologna is an incredible 37 minutes. This line is practically one long tunnel... 73 kilometers that cuts through mountains and hills. Completed in December 2009:

  13. #43


    Quote Originally Posted by wiki
    The line is 78.5 km long and includes 73.8 km of tunnels.

    The world's first genuine high-speed subway.

    What's the fare from Florence to Bologna, and what's the rush hour headway?

  14. #44


    ^ It is an engineering marvel but none of this will ever get printed in your press.

    The trains can hit 362 km x hour. They are the fastest underground trains in the world.

    Price: 2nd class 24 E / 1st Class 35 E.

  15. #45


    The Freccia Argento


    vs. Amtrack Acela



    The Freccia Rossa in action:

    Last edited by Fabrizio; January 30th, 2010 at 12:59 PM.

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