Decorated by René Lalique, “Côte d’Azur” was built in 1929 as a first-class Pullman. The faintly blue opaque glass shows classical figures with a matching frieze of smaller panels.
The stylish carriage began in the Côte d’Azur Pullman Express before switching to the Deauville Express. It returned to the Côte d’Azur for winter journeys and ran from Paris to Calais for many years, meeting the passengers from the Golden Arrow.
By 1961 it was in a reserve pool used for special services and was eventually stored at the Wagons-Lits works at Villeneuve. It was rescued from a cold and dreary siding in 1981 by Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and restored at Bremen.
“Etoile du Nord” was built in 1926 in England, and showcases some of the most beautiful marquetry in the continental rake. It ran with the Etoile du Nord train from Paris and then switched to the Edelweiss based in Amsterdam.
After running with the Lusitania Express from Lisbon to Madrid it finished service in the 1970s, travelling between Cadiz and Seville.
“L'Oriental” was originally a Pullman kitchen car. Built in Birmingham in 1927 in the Etoile du Nord style, it ran a luxurious service between Paris and Amsterdam. It later joined the Lusitania Express.
When purchased for the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the car was updated and refitted with black lacquer panels.
The Bar Car was built in France in 1931 and based at the Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris. After the war it ran as part of the Sud Express from Paris to Irún on the Spanish border and from Paris to Toulouse in Le Capitole.
Today it boasts a beautiful, Art Nouveau-style interior by Gérard Gallet.