This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The name alone evokes visions of overstuffed wingback chairs, rich mahogany trim and dining cars with crisp white tablecloths: the Orient Express.

The fabled train, which ran from Paris to Istanbul in its heyday at the turn of the 20th century and through the Art Deco age, is a shining example of the golden era of luxury rail journeys. But the passenger train, which has been featured in movies and books such as Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” might once again carry travelers on its iconic route across Europe and into Turkey.

French train company SNCF, which bought the Orient Express when it stopped operations in 1977, has begun refurbishing the cars of the original Orient Express and is weighing the possibility of restarting operations of the elegant train.

This picture taken on May 13, 2019 shows the interior of a carriage in a restored carriage of an Orient Express train displayed at the Gare de l

This week, SNCF is displaying several of the original train cars that have been refurbished at the Gare de L’Est train station in Paris, AFP reported. The cars feature glamorous interior design elements from the train’s bygone era, such as leather chairs, velvet curtains and polished wood tables. Three of the cars are dining cars that were on the original Orient Express, according to AFP, while the four other cars were used on the company’s other routes in Europe. The restorations began in 2011.

This picture taken on May 13, 2019 shows the interior of a restored carriage of an Orient Express train displayed at the Gare de l

“To restore them, we went into our archives to find the original plans or samples of [fabrics] and so forth,” executive director of the Orient Express Guillaume de Saint Lager told AFP. “We used exceptional experts.” SNCF also found some of the train’s original cars in Poland and has spent €14 million ($15.6 million) refurbishing 16 cars, which includes at least nine sleeper cars and four saloons.

Related: The 7 Best Starter Credit Cards

Other trains, hotels and cruises have donned the name “Orient Express” in recent years. Those ventures, run largely under a travel company now called Belmond, were licensed with the vaunted Orient Express title under a now-defunct agreement with SNCF. None of them operated the original famous train.

This picture taken on May 13, 2019 shows the interior of a newly-restored carriage of an Orient Express train displayed at the Gare de l

Guillaume Pepy, CEO of SNCF, says the project is an, “investment in railway heritage.”

“Our aim is to have the Orient Express on the rails all around Europe,” Pepy told AFP. But that undertaking could be more complicated than it seems. “We need to look at the state of the carriages and see under what conditions they could travel again and how they could be brought in line with the security specifications that exist in Europe,” Pepy said.

The company expects to make a final decision about the train this summer.

All photos by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points Terms Apply.

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber credits annually

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.