trains in 20th Century Europe
8 January 1946, the Simplon Orient Express was revived in Western Europe as a train from Paris to Venezia and Roma. Attempts to reinstate the train in South East Europe were frustrated by the new political alignment of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria together with war around the Bulgarian/Greek/Turkish boundaries.
7 October 1946, the train was extended thrice weekly from Venezia to Beograd.
30 April 1947 Further extension of the service from Beograd to Istanbul eventually arrived running three days per week
January 1948 The Simplon Orient Express resumed through working from Svilengrad to Istanbul crossing the Greek/Turkish border in daylight under guard.
February 1948. The Sofia-
1 September 1948 the Express resumed through running between Sofia-
October 1950 a frontier dispute between Bulgaria and Turkey closed that frontier and the Simplon Orient Express terminated at Svilengrad.
April 1951, Istanbul cars were re-
1976 The Paris-
9 May 1977. Direct Orient Express discontinued
Restarting the Simplon Orient
Simplon Orient Express
Reason for its downfall
• Political opposition to the service in the Balkans
• Bloated run times
• Inferior rolling stock.
• Air competition
• See link above to display comparative run times during the
Wien Beograd trains avoid Hungary
In 1955 the Balkan Express was introduced via Maribor to Zagreb and then onto Beograd. This avoided crossing Hungary then in the Soviet bloc. By 1960 this train was cut back to Zagreb. By 1992, this traffic ceased because of the Yugoslav conflict. A curious feature of the Balkan Express was that it carried through coaches from Grossenbrode on the German-
Simplon Express emerges
After the discontinuation of the SOE in 1962, a service called the Simplon Express still connected Paris with Beograd and this ran until 1992. At this time, the name Simplon Express was transferred to a curious service linking Geneva Airport with Vinkovci on the Croat-
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