Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits
|Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits et du Tourisme
|Seat||Paris , France|
|Branch||Passenger transport and catering|
The Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits , at times also Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits et des Grands Express Européens , abbreviated CIWL or CWL ; German International Sleeping Car Society , ISG ; since 1967 Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits et du Tourisme , abbreviated CIWLT , is the oldest European company operating sleeping cars , dining cars and luxury trains. After it was founded in 1872 and 1876 respectively, the CIWL developed into the largest provider of sleeping and dining car services in Europe. From 1881 she also introduced her own luxury trains, the most famous of which are the Orient Express and the Train Bleu . Beyond Europe, the CIWL became active in Africa and Asia. With 2,268 cars it reached its largest vehicle inventory in 1931 and was the world's largest tourism group after the takeover of Thomas Cook and Son .
After the Second World War , CIWL initially lost its business areas in Eastern Europe. With the decline in sleeping car traffic, CIWL increasingly concentrated on its tourism business. In 1991 the Accor hotel group took over CIWL. In 2006, Accor initially sold the travel agency division Carlson Wagonlit Travel . The CIWL and the remaining railway services with sleeping cars and train catering went to the catering company Newrest in 2010 . Since then they have acted as Newrest Wagons-Lits , with which the traditional CIWL brand name disappeared from the market. The other hotel and tourism services were integrated into the Accor group.
Foundation of the first CIWL
During a trip to the USA in 1867/68, the 23-year-old Belgian Georges Nagelmackers was so impressed by the sleeping cars introduced there by George Mortimer Pullman that he decided to set up a network of sleeping car courses in the European rail network. Until then, there were only individual passenger cars with sleeping facilities in the European railway network, where makeshift beds were created by pulling out opposite seats and lowering the backrests.
On April 20, 1870, Nagelmackers published a memorandum in his hometown of Liège and in Aachen entitled “Projet d'Installation des Wagons-Lits sur les Chemins de Fer du Continent”, in which he presented his plans and the advantages of such a sleeping car operation . At the same time he began negotiations with German, Belgian and French railway administrations, which he had to end again in July 1870 due to the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War . After the end of the war, Nagelmackers was able to conclude a first contract for the use of a sleeping car for the Ostend - Brindisi connection in the Indian Mail , the mail train of the British postal administration. At that time it drove over the Brenner Pass , but after the completion of the Mont Cenis tunnel in 1871 it was shifted to this shorter route. Nagelmackers' contract thus became irrelevant.
It was not until 1872 that he succeeded in concluding further contracts. In the summer of that year he joined with the Chemin de Fer de l'Est , the Imperial Railways in Alsace-Lorraine , the Grand Ducal Baden State Railways , the Royal Württemberg State Railways , the Royal Bavarian State Railways and the Austrian Empress Elisabeth Railway contracts for the use of a Sleeping car between Paris and Vienna , which was not to be introduced until 1874. On this basis, Nagelmackers ordered his first five sleeping cars, four from the Hernals wagon factory and one from the Simmering wagon factory . Two of these cars were shown at the World Exhibition in Vienna in 1873 . Further contracts for sleeping car courses between Ostend and Cologne , Ostend and Berlin as well as Paris and Cologne with the then mostly private railway companies followed.
On this basis, Nagelmackers founded the Georges Nagelmackers et Compagnie - Compagnie Internationale de Wagons-Lits in Liège on September 12th, according to other information on October 4th, 1872 . Thanks to good relations with his father, he was also able to win the Belgian King Leopold II as a shareholder .
The Mann's Railway Sleeping Car Company
Nagelmackers' company soon suffered from a lack of capital, as the high investments for the vehicles were not yet offset by the lengthy contract negotiations. In London, Nagelmackers met the American William d'Alton Mann , who briefly served as a colonel in the Civil War and then made his fortune as a military outfitter. In competition with Pullman he had tried to introduce sleeping cars in America, but was unsuccessful and was now looking for profitable business opportunities in Europe. On January 1, 1873, both founded Mann's Railway Sleeping Car Company Ltd. - Compagnie Internationale de Wagons-Lits , the sleeping cars were labeled Mann Boudoir Sleeping Car , because Mann had patented his sleeping cars as boudoir cars . Mann became president of the company, but Nagelmackers managed the business alone, supported by Napoléon Schroeder , who became one of the company's first employees and who subsequently negotiated most of the contracts.
On June 15, 1873, the first sleeping cars were able to start operating between Ostend and Cologne and Ostend and Berlin. In December of this year, the course from Paris to Cologne followed. In 1874, seven more courses were added, including the one between Paris and Vienna, which Nagelmackers had sought at an early stage. Further courses followed in the next few years. The number of sleeping cars grew rapidly from 14 vehicles ordered by the first CIWL at the end of 1873 to 42 cars at the end of 1874.
The American Pullman Palace Car Company tried in competition with Mann and Nagelmackers from 1874 to introduce their sleeping cars in Europe, but it was only able to conclude contracts with railway companies in Great Britain and for a few years in Italy.
The second CIWL
Colonel Mann resigned from his presidency in the summer of 1875 and Nagelmackers became sole director general. Nagelmackers seized the opportunity and founded the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits in Brussels on December 4, 1876 , the preposition changed from de to des expressed the goal of becoming the only sleeping car company possible in Europe. Nagelmacker's King Leopold II won again as a shareholder, but the monarch is said to never have paid his share. CIWL took over a total of 53 sleeping cars and 22 contracts for 15 sleeping car courses in Germany, Belgium, France, Austria-Hungary and Romania from Mann . These now also include contracts with terms of up to 20 years, after the railway companies initially only accepted short-term contracts for a maximum of three years.
The CIWL started in December with the following sleeping car races:
- Berlin - Aachen
- Berlin - Wroclaw
- Berlin - Eydtkuhnen
- Berlin - Frankfurt am Main
- Berlin - Hamburg
- Berlin - Cologne
- Bucharest - Suceava
- Ostend - Basel
- Ostend - Cologne
- Paris - Bordeaux
- Paris - Frankfurt am Main
- Paris - Cologne
- Paris - Vienna
- Strasbourg - Munich
- Vienna - Eger
In the following years further contracts were added, especially with railway companies in France and Italy. In 1880, after long negotiations, Schroeder and Nagelmackers succeeded in concluding long-term contracts with Chemin de Fer de l'Est and Chemin de Fer du Nord and becoming active for the first time in Spain and Russia . In 1884 the CIWL first reached a high point in its expansion, with 23 sleeping car courses operating in Germany alone. In 1886 the competitor Pullman withdrew from business in continental Europe, so that the CIWL had a de facto monopoly.
Dining cars became a second line of business for CIWL. In 1880 she first used a makeshiftly converted car from the Berlin-Anhalt Railway on its main line between Berlin Anhalter Bahnhof and Bebra . The car soon proved to be a success and the CIWL began to develop special dining cars, for which they concluded contracts with the railway companies analogous to their sleeping cars. CIWL provided sleeping and dining cars with the normal trains of the participating railway companies. The contracts were structured in such a way that the railway companies carried the cars free of charge and collected the normal fare to be paid by the passengers. CIWL's source of income was the surcharges for sleeping places, which amounted to around 20% of the fare, as well as the income from restaurant operations. In the case of the dining car, the benefit for the railway companies was the improved economy and travel speed of their trains due to the fact that longer stays for refreshments were no longer required in large train stations.
After putting CIWL on an economically solid basis, Nagelmackers decided to enter the business of high-quality travel with its own trains made up entirely of CIWL wagons. He had very far-reaching plans. His goal was a north-south express that would run continuously from Lisbon to Saint Petersburg , supplemented by a feeder from the Channel coast in Calais, which was to be combined with the main train in his hometown of Liège. It was not just the different gauges that initially caused these plans to fail. Nagelmackers first had to deal with more easily realizable connections. The sleeping car route from Vienna to Orșova on the then Hungarian-Romanian border, which opened in 1878, had shown him that connections to Southeastern Europe had high potential for wealthy travelers.
The CIWL therefore began to introduce its own trains, which, however, were always pulled by the locomotives of the participating railway companies. With the Orient Express introduced in 1883, the CIWL's first luxury train soon became a complete success. The CIWL soon gradually introduced other luxury trains, such as the Calais-Mediterranée Express in 1883 and the Sud-Express in 1887 . Not every new train route was accepted by well-heeled passengers, so two attempts with a Suisse Express between Paris and popular Swiss health resorts such as Lucerne and Interlaken in 1891 and 1897 failed , only the Engadin Express, which ran between Calais and Switzerland from 1896 , failed had lasting success. At that time, mountaineering was still the domain of the British upper class . In contrast, the Club Train between Paris and Calais and Dover and London , which was offered from 1889, had to be discontinued in 1893 because the British London, Chatham and Dover Railway prematurely terminated the twelve-year contract. The CIWL only ran its own cars in the United Kingdom again from 1936. In 1884, after the successful start of the company's own trains, the company name was supplemented with the addition of et des Grands Express Européens . From 1886 the CIWL became the main organizer of state trips for most of the European heads of state. The symbol "WL", which was held by two lions, developed into a trademark .
Further development up to the First World War
Despite individual failures, the CIWL continued to expand its network in the years up to 1914. A new luxury train was put into service almost every year, for example the Ostend-Wien-Express in 1894 or the Riviera-Express in 1900 . In addition, sleeping and dining cars continued to be placed in the scheduled trains of the railway companies. From 1884 the CIWL introduced saloon cars . The company also gradually concluded contracts with other railway companies and expanded its network to include Italy, Spain and the Balkans. The initially hesitant French railway companies have now also signed long-term contracts with CIWL, such as Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée for 22 years and Paris-Orléans for 23 years in 1888 .
From 1885, however, Prussia began to terminate the contracts of the CIWL, some of which went back to the private railways nationalized under Bismarck from the end of the 1870s. For one thing, the Prussian State Railways recognized that sleeping and dining cars were a lucrative business. On the other hand, the CIWL, as a foreign company that was based in Brussels but had its head office in Paris, the capital of the hereditary enemy France, was not popular with the responsible minister Albert von Maybach . He made every effort to keep the CIWL out of Germany as much as possible and instructed the state railways not to renew expiring contracts. It was only after Maybach's departure that the CIWL could become more active again in Prussia. From 1896 she ran a luxury train via Berlin for the first time with the Nord-Express . In 1896, Nagelmackers also founded the Deutsche Eisenbahn-Speisewagen-Gesellschaft (DESG) as a subsidiary . With the help of DESG, whose ownership CIWL - which alone took over 53% of the shares - shared with various German banks, including Disconto-Gesellschaft and Dresdner Bank, as well as the Cologne-based bank Oppenheim , which was already involved in CIWL , Nagelmackers avoided the aversion of the Prussian state railways against that of French capital, hence the " arch enemy " of the German Reich, was dominated by CIWL. Although the collaboration between CIWL and DESG was an open secret (Napoléon Schroeder, Nagelmackers' successor as CIWL general director, was also chairman of the DESG board of directors from 1909 ) and was recognizable from the largely identical vehicles, the DESG was quickly able to find its way into the Prussian dining car traffic Expand state railways . However, the Prussian administration consistently kept sleeping car traffic in its own hands. The southern German state railways in Bavaria , Baden and Württemberg remained loyal to the CIWL from its foundation until 1914 and continued their contracts despite criticism from Berlin.
The CIWL was very successful against its competitors. With the exception of its British subsidiary, the Pullman Palace Car Company withdrew from European business in 1886 and sold the last of their cars used in Italy to the CIWL. In Prussia, DESG was able to take over more than half of the dining car services, displacing competitors such as Gustav Kromrey to the places. While Pullman withdrew from Europe, Nagelmackers became active outside of Europe. The first connections outside Europe were included in the program, for example trains in Algeria and Egypt or via the Trans-Siberian Railway to China .
Via the subsidiary of the Compagnie Internationale des Grands Hotels founded in 1894, Nagelmackers also built up a chain of luxury hotels that corresponded to the economic standards of sleeper-car travelers. These included the Terminus Hotels in Bordeaux and Marseille, the Pera-Palas Hotel in Istanbul, the Hotel de la Plage in Ostend , and the Grand Hotel des Wagons-Lits (Beijing) at the end of the trans-Siberian rail link. In 1903 another subsidiary was founded, the Swiss Dining Car Company .
In 1905, Georges Nagelmackers, the founder of the CIWL, died. His successor as general director was Napoléon Schroeder. The British politician and publisher Davison Dalziel had already joined the CIWL board of directors in 1903 . He was to have a decisive influence on the development of the CIWL in the coming decades.
In the first World War
At the end of 1913, the CIWL owned a total of 1737 cars, including 842 sleeping cars, 665 dining cars, 38 saloon cars and 192 baggage cars. 31 luxury trains were on their timetable. The first immediate impact of World War I was the resignation of Napoléon Schroeder as general manager. Although he had been a Belgian citizen for years, as a native of Germany he was exposed to considerable hostility. His successor was Camille Chouffart. The CIWL had to stop most of the luxury trains and carriage runs, and even in neutral countries only limited operations were soon possible. So initially not a single one of 109 French dining and sleeping car courses drove, and by 1915, 11 sleeping and 34 dining car courses were gradually put back into operation. In Italy, all but three of 58 courses disappeared, which also had to be discontinued in 1917. Only the “ Trans-Siberia ” and the Spanish part of the Sud-Express initially continued to operate as luxury trains.
After the German occupation of Brussels, the CIWL, which was still officially based in Belgium despite its headquarters in Paris, was viewed by the Central Powers as a company in enemy possession and placed under forced administration on May 1, 1915 . In addition, they had to accept the confiscation of their vehicle fleet for military purposes or use within the sphere of influence of the Central Powers. In 1916 MITROPA was founded, which was to compete with CIWL from Belgium, which was the enemy of the war at the time, and which took over all CIWL sleeping and dining cars in Germany and Austria for 2.4 million marks . As a replacement for the discontinued Orient Express, MITROPA operated the Balkan train , in which CIWL wagons were also used due to contracts that were not terminated with the state railways involved.
In 1918 the new government in Soviet Russia confiscated 161 sleeping cars, hotels and other CIWL facilities. In France and Belgium, as well as the other states not occupied by the Central Powers, the Paris directorate kept operations going as far as possible, even if most of the sleeping and dining car courses were suspended. The released wagons were made available by the CIWL to the Allied armies, which they used primarily for staff services and their commanders . Best known is the dining car 2419 D used by Marshal Ferdinand Foch , which, as the Compiègne car , was the scene of the signing of the Compiègne Armistice .
After the First World War, the CIWL demanded its previous sleeping car and dining car courses in Central Europe. In Austria , Poland and Czechoslovakia , the CIWL was again given a monopoly, while the Reichsbahn and MITROPA, which it took over in a majority after the war, sabotaged the operation of the CIWL in Germany as far as possible. This conflict was only resolved in 1924 by an agreement that was signed on April 23, 1925 and which delimited the interests of MITROPA and CIWL. The CIWL took over the international trains and train runs through Germany and between Germany on the one hand and Belgium , France , Italy , Poland and Czechoslovakia (with the exception of individual Mitropa wagons to Karlsbad ) on the other. MITROPA took over the train runs between Germany on the one hand and Denmark , the Netherlands and Sweden as well as part of the destinations in Switzerland on the other hand, as well as the corridor trains to Gdansk and East Prussia . Both companies operated sleeping cars between Berlin and Vienna : the CIWL sleeping cars ran via Wroclaw or Prague , the MITROPA sleeping cars ran via Passau .
In the 1920s, the company recovered and expanded its route network again. Blue and gold became the new corporate colors, and the luxury trains that were put back into service were gradually given new all-steel cars painted blue. In 1922, the Calais-Mediterranée Express, which passengers soon referred to as Train Bleu , was the first to be equipped with the new carriages.
In 1925, the CIWL Chairman of the Board of Directors, Lord Dalziel of Wooler, sold CIWL the majority of the British Pullman Car Company (PCC), which had previously belonged to him - the Pullman Company was initially partially owned by its former largest competitor, ten years later the CIWL acquired the remaining shares . This ownership structure was, however, withheld by the CIWL until the mid-1970s, long after the PCC was sold by CIWL to British Railways in 1954 . Officially, the two companies only worked together on a friendly basis. As an initial result of the takeover, in 1925, at the instigation of Lord Dalziel, CIWL introduced day luxury trains such as the Edelweiss or the Flèche d'Or, which were composed of new Pullman cars and called the Pullman Express , in addition to the luxury trains previously mostly operated as sleeper trains . From 1926, new all-steel wagons of various series on a uniform undercarriage were purchased, which gradually replaced the older wagons with teak cladding. In 1927, the CIWL took over the world's first flying on-board restaurant on the route from Paris to London operated by the French Air Union . Until the takeover by Accor, CIWL remained active as a caterer for airlines, especially for North African, French and Italian airports. In the interwar period, the CIWL not only offered its services by rail and air, it also managed cabins and restaurants on liners on the Vistula and Danube as well as the Congo .
With the takeover of shares in Thomas Cook and Son , CIWL became the world's largest tourism group in 1928. A complete takeover failed, but both companies linked their offers and acted together as "Wagons-Lits Cook" (WLC). During the 1930s, over 2000 CIWL wagons drove on European tracks, the highest level was reached in 1931 with 2268 wagons. After the incorporation of Austria in 1938, CIWL had to cease operations in Austria and cede all courses to MITROPA, analogous to the traffic there in 1939 after the occupation of the “rest of Czechia” .
In World War II
The Second World War , like the First World War, led to the almost complete cessation of luxury trains. The CIWL discontinued the luxury trains leading through the German Reich at the end of August 1939, while the Simplon-Orient-Express ran until Italy entered the war in 1940. Only in the neutral states such as Spain or Turkey did the luxury trains continue to run; on the Iberian Peninsula, a new luxury train was even introduced in 1943 with the Lusitania Express from Madrid to Lisbon . In France, as in the First World War, many cars were taken over by the military and used for command trains and staff services.
On the other hand, the CIWL tried to keep the other sleeping and dining cars in operation despite considerable restrictions. As a company officially resident in Belgium, it did not initially fall under the confiscation of enemy property and, for example, ran the sleeping car runs from Berlin to Athens and Istanbul and from Munich to Istanbul until May 1940. These courses ran on the trains to Athens and Istanbul together with the cars coming from Paris. Only the beginning of the western campaign ended the operation of the CIWL in Central Europe with few exceptions. The Reich Commissioner for the treatment of enemy property provided the CIWL in June 1940 under receivership . The 1925 treaty was repealed and MITROPA took over the traffic between the Reich and the occupied territories in the west and south-east. The CIWL remained only a limited operation within France and the Benelux countries. MITROPA was only unable to expand its catchment area to Italy. Some of the CIWL wagons were leased from MITROPA and transferred to its fleet. Further CIWL vehicles were now in command trains of the Wehrmacht and the Reich Ministry of Transport , 46 vehicles are verifiable. Individual cars were to be converted into saloon cars for the greats of the Third Reich, but were no longer completed by the end of the war.
post war period
After the Second World War, the CIWL lost 845 cars, only a small part of which was returned. CIWL got its operating rights back in Austria, but gradually lost all contracts in Eastern Europe until 1951. Most of the vehicles used there also remained in their countries of operation. At the instigation of the then Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Wyschinski, among other things, the company had various international sleeping car races, for example between Prague and Paris or between Warsaw and Paris. New in the CIWL network appeared from 1946 through carriage runs to Stockholm and from 1951 to Oslo , before the war CIWL cars had only come to Copenhagen . In addition, due to the contract which expired in 1943, it took over from 1925 all international sleeping and dining car runs operated by MITROPA through the western occupation zones and, from 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany . It was not until 1954 that CIWL and the German Sleeping Car and Dining Car Company (DSG), as the successor to MITROPA in West Germany, delimited their respective interests and areas of service. In the years that followed, the previous competition increasingly gave way to close cooperation between the two companies, for example with the joint operation of the workshops in Neuaubing .
From the end of the 1950s onwards, CIWL gradually shifted its focus to travel agencies and tourist services, even if sleeping and dining car operations continued to be important. The number of vehicles decreased only slightly from 1,172 in 1957 to 1,014 in 1966. As the operator of an independent, fully composed of its rolling stock trains joined the CIWL but less and less in appearance, in 1966 there were in the course book CIWL only three such pairs of trains. In 1967 the company name was therefore changed to Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits et du Tourisme (CIWLT), with the name Wagons-Lits still serving as a short form . After Thomas Cook was nationalized in Great Britain in 1948, the previous relationship between the two companies was replaced by a partnership agreement. The collaboration continued even after the privatization of Thomas Cook & Sons until today's Thomas Cook Group passed into German ownership in 1992.
The CIWL withdrew the last Pullman wagons , which were now obsolete in terms of wagon construction , from scheduled service in 1971; most recently they had been used in individual train routes in France and Italy after no independent Pullman Express trains had operated since the war . However, some Pullman cars remained in the CIWL's inventory for special trips. In addition, since the aging of the sleeping car stock was due to be replaced, which the CIWLT could not manage, the sleeping cars used in international traffic were added to the stock of the SNCF , FS , SBB , DB , ÖBB , NMBS / SNCB , NS , DSB and in the same year RENFE via, mostly in the form of long-term rental agreements, sometimes also as a sale. At this point in time, the International Sleeping Car Pool (with the trademark TEN = Trans Euro Night ) was founded, which existed until 1995 and into which the participating railways brought in a large proportion of the cars from CIWLT and DSG . In addition, there was a gradually decreasing number of wagons used in national traffic. Since 1971 Wagons-Lits has only operated the sleeping cars on behalf of the railway companies. In 1975, however, there were still 610 sleeping cars in the nominal inventory of the CIWLT, of which 197 were part of the TEN pool. In the following years this number continued to decline. From the mid-1970s, however, the older pre-war wagons attracted increasing interest from museum railways and providers of nostalgic train travel, who acquired them directly from CIWL or from various state railways as interim owners. With trains like the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express , wealthy customers have been conveying the travel experience of the Belle Époque and the Roaring Twenties .
Acquisition by Accor
In 1988 CIWLT took over the car rental company Europcar and merged it with the German competitor InterRent a year later . In 1991, the CIWLT itself was taken over by the international hotel group Accor , which in the following years dissolved, sold or continued to run the various holdings of CIWLT as an independent subsidiary. In 1995 the subsidiary Eurest , an operator of canteens and company restaurants , was sold to the British Compass Group and in 1999 the stake in Europcar was transferred to Volkswagen AG . In 2006 Accor sold its stake in the travel agency division (Carlson Wagonlit Travel) to the US companies Carlson Companies and One Equity Partners .
In July 2010, the catering company Newrest took over 60% of the railway service division of CIWLT. Since then, the company has been operating under the Newrest Wagons-Lits brand . The CIWLT, which continues to exist as a subsidiary of Newrest, is based in Paris . The focus is on the operation of sleeping cars and the catering of trains. The company is still active with subsidiaries in France, Portugal and Austria, the Italian subsidiary was closed at the end of 2011 after Newrest Wagons-Lits no longer participated in the re-award of the services by Trenitalia due to poor conditions. Trains operated from these countries also run to Germany, Italy and Switzerland, among others. The company no longer owns any vehicles. The sleeper car services from which it was originally named are only operated from Austria. Since December 2016, Newrest Wagons-Lits has also been managing the night train services in Germany taken over from Deutsche Bahn under the ÖBB Nightjet brand for ÖBB . In France, the last sleeper car services were discontinued in 2007, including the Train Bleu . Since then, only catering services have been provided on SNCF trains , including a pair of TGV Rhin-Rhone trains between Frankfurt am Main and Marseille as one of the last services on German rails. The TGV trains between France and Switzerland , which run under the brand name Lyria , are also managed .
The historic wagons held ready for special trips as the Pullman Orient Express went to a subsidiary of the French state railway SNCF in 2008 , which has been operating them since then. Parts of the CIWL archive were taken over by the SNCF and given to the French National Railway Museum in Mulhouse. The leftovers were auctioned off by Accor in September 2011 despite protests at Christie's . Trademark rights and licenses for the historical signets, logos and posters of CIWL have been held by Wagons-Lits Diffusion SA in Paris since 1996 , which also exercises the corresponding rights for PLM .
Trains and wagons
The CIWL always operated its trains in cooperation with the respective state and private railways, with which they concluded corresponding contracts. This also took over the locomotive cover . The CIWL never had its own locomotives, apart from a few shunting locomotives in their workshops. The CIWL's vehicle inventory therefore mainly included sleeping, dining, saloon and luggage cars. From 53 cars in 1876, the number had grown to almost 1,740 cars by 1914. In 1931 the highest level was reached with 2268 cars. After the war, some of the vehicles passed into the possession of the respective state railways, but in Western Europe the CIWL kept their management. In 1971 the CIWL still owned a good 900 cars. In the meantime, the vehicles are generally owned by the railway companies, the CIWL and Newrest have concentrated exclusively on the management.
Luxury and sleeper trains
Starting with the Orient Express, the range of luxury trains developed into a network that spanned almost all European countries as well as parts of Asia and Africa by 1914. The CIWL mostly set up pure sleeping car trains. A few train runs in daily traffic or with scenic sections also received saloon cars. After the First World War, the CIWL added the pullman suits used exclusively in daytime traffic.
According to the demand, the train routes and thus the train names changed relatively often, especially before the First World War, and some trains only ran for a few weeks. In some cases, through car runs were given their own train names. Not all destinations turned out to be a success; the CIWL made significant losses on some trains, such as the Denmark Express, which ran between Copenhagen and Berlin from 1907 to 1909, or the Golden Mountain Pullman Express , which was only used in 1931 .
After the Second World War, most trains were no longer operated as CIWL luxury trains. With a few exceptions such as the Train Bleu , the trains were converted into conventional express trains, which, in addition to the sleeping and dining cars of the CIWL, also carried seated and couchette cars of the participating state railways.
Most of the luxury sleeping car trains can be assigned to specific groups in terms of their train routes and destinations. In addition to the long-running trains connecting the most important European capitals such as the Orient Express or the Rome Express , there were mainly trains to tourist destinations such as health resorts and bathing resorts as well as destinations in the Alps and the Mediterranean. In addition, the CIWL offered boat trains until the 1960s , feeder trains to overseas steamers with destinations in America, Africa or Asia. As a rule, the latter could not be found in the public course books, but drove exclusively for the passengers of the respective shipping companies.
After his first plans for sleeping cars had favored the important European east-west connection from Paris to Vienna, Nagelmackers started his first luxury train on this route. In October 1882, on a trial basis, a Train de Luxe d'Essai made up of CIWL cars drove from Paris to Vienna and back. This successful journey, which was significantly accelerated compared to normal express trains, resulted in a conference held in Constantinople in February 1883 , at which the participating railway companies agreed with the CIWL to set up a luxury train between Paris and Constantinople.
On June 5, 1883, the first train, initially known as the Train Express d'Orient , headed east from Paris. In the absence of a continuous route to Constantinople, he drove via Vienna and Budapest to Bucharest and from there to Giurgiu on the Danube , where there was a ferry connection to the Bulgarian Ruse . From there there was a connecting train to Varna , where there was a ship connection to Constantinople. The official inauguration took place on October 4, 1883, to which Nagelmackers specifically invited journalists and writers. Their reports of the inauguration trip to the Orient, which was then perceived as exotic, contributed to the fact that the Orient Express quickly became a success. From 1889 Constantinople could be reached by rail, since then the Orient Express in Budapest forks into two alternating routes to Giurgiu (from 1895 to Constanța ) and to Constantinople. In Vienna it was linked to the Ostend-Wien-Express . When the war broke out in 1914, the train was stopped.
After the First World War, in 1919, at the request of the Allies, the CIWL introduced the Simplon-Orient-Express , which avoided the area of the losers Germany, Austria and Hungary. The Orient Express on the previous route via Munich, Vienna and Budapest ran again from 1921, only to Bucharest, in the 1930s with through coaches to Istanbul.
During the Second World War, the Orient Express was discontinued. After the end of the war it came back on the road as a normal express train, due to the Iron Curtain only traveled temporarily to Bucharest, in some timetable years only to Vienna. Most recently, the Orient Express was a night train between Strasbourg and Vienna, with a TGV connection from Paris. He was discontinued in 2009.
Calais-Mediterranée Express / Train Bleu
As the second luxury train, Nagelmackers introduced the Calais-Nice-Rome Express in December 1883 , which was supposed to bring passengers from Great Britain to the Côte d'Azur and Italy, especially in winter . He also turned out to be a complete success. In order to speed up the connection to Rome , the CIWL separated from the Rome Express in 1889 and took it to Italy on a shorter route through the Mont-Cenis tunnel . The Calais-Mediterranée Express took over the traffic to the Côte d'Azur, which was nicknamed Train Bleu from 1922 due to the blue sleeping cars used . The train officially got this name in 1949. The reduction in travel times through the expansion of the TGV high-speed traffic led to the discontinuation of the Train Bleu in 2007. Until the 1960s, it was the last pure sleeping car train of the CIWL, after which couchette cars and seating cars were also used.
Georges Nagelmackers had been pursuing the project of a continuous north-south express from Lisbon to Saint Petersburg since the beginning of the 1880s . This project, which would have made it necessary to change gauges twice due to the different gauges on the Iberian Peninsula, in Central Europe and in Russia, could not be carried out; instead, the CIWL set up several separate train routes. The Sud-Express ran between Paris and Lisbon or Madrid from 1887 . At the Spanish border in Irun or Hendaye , however, the passengers had to change cars. A few years after the Second World War, the Sud-Express, which was now run as a normal express train, was no longer a luxury train, but was given recurable couchette cars. The train part to Madrid was run as a separate train from 1969, the Sud-Express only ran between Paris and Lisbon, but received a few through coaches to Porto . After the TGV connections between Paris and Bordeaux went into operation , the Sud-Express was limited to the Iberian part in the mid-1990s and the through coaches were discontinued. The Sud-Express now operates as Talgo between Irun and Lisbon.
The Nord-Express between Paris and Saint Petersburg did not become a reality until 1896, after the CIWL had managed to overcome Prussia's negative attitude towards its trains and wagons. Similar to the Sud-Express, a train change was necessary on the German-Russian border in Eydtkuhnen or Wirballen . From 1899 the Nord-Express received a branch train from Thorn to Warsaw , where there was a connection to Moscow . After the First World War, the Nord-Express was only reintroduced in 1926, but without a Russian train part and with the new route Paris / Ostend - Berlin - Warsaw. In the next few years it was supplemented by through coaches to Riga , Copenhagen and Bucharest . Before the war, the Nord-Express was one of the most famous CIWL luxury trains. After the Second World War, the Nord-Express was again given a new route as a normal express train and ran between Paris and Copenhagen. Through coaches offered direct connections from Paris to Oslo and Stockholm . With the increasing importance of night travel by rail, the Nord-Express gradually lost these through coaches in the 1980s. It was last used between Ostend and Copenhagen in 1997.
From 1936 to 1980 - apart from the time of the Second World War - the Night Ferry was the only train connection between Paris and London without changing trains. Until then and from 1980 until the completion of the Eurotunnel , all passengers in the canal ports had to switch between train and ship. The specially procured for this train of CIWL sleeper of the first class were between Dunkirk and Dover across the English Channel trajektiert . At times the Night Ferry also carried through cars to Brussels. Falling demand due to air traffic and the outdated cars led to the discontinuation in 1980.
Following the example of the British Pullman cars and trains, the CIWL introduced corresponding, luxurious and at -the-seat service cars to mainland Europe from 1925 , thus replacing their older saloon cars. These were placed on the one hand in existing trains, on the other hand the company established its own train routes known as “Pullman-Express” or “Trains de Luxe Pullman”. By 1939 there were a good two dozen Pullman suits, mainly in France, the Benelux countries, Italy and Romania. Only some of the trains proved to be economically viable in the long term; others were discontinued after just a few months. The best known were the Edelweiss , the Flèche d'Or and the Étoile du Nord . After the Second World War, the few reintroduced Pullman trains were soon converted into conventional express trains that only carried individual Pullman cars. The last Pullman cars were withdrawn from scheduled traffic in 1971.
Hotels and restaurants
From 1891, the CIWL was already operating individual luxury hotels , starting with the Avenida Palace in Lisbon. Nagelmackers merged these hotels in 1894 in a new subsidiary, the Compagnie Internationale des Grands Hotels . The CIWL established one of the first hotel chains . The new company quickly expanded its portfolio of hotels, partly by building new ones and partly by taking over existing hotels. According to the demands of the customers, the hotels were equipped with the latest technology and luxuriously designed. When choosing a location, the CIWL concentrated on the destinations of its luxury trains and on seaside resorts. From 1896 the CIWL was involved in other hotel groups, in some cases it took over the hotels of its subsidiary again in direct ownership.
The most famous hotels of the CIWL included the Shepheard's and the Gezireh Palace in Cairo, the Grand Hotel des Wagons-Lits in Beijing , the Royal Palace and Hotel de la Plage in Ostend , the Riviera Palace in Nice and the Maloja Palace in Maloja .
As early as 1905, the CIWL sold individual hotels again, from 1910 it parted with its hotel holdings. One of the last hotels to be owned by CIWL before World War I was Pera Palas in Istanbul, sold in 1914 . The CIWL only kept various hotels and train station buffets on a lease basis , mainly in North Africa and Syria , but also in Belgium and France. After the Second World War, the CIWL operated other hotels and train station buffets in what was then the French colonies in West Africa. By 1968, all of the relevant businesses were gradually closed or sold.
It was not until 1975 that CIWL got back into the hotel business with the establishment of the Etap hotel chain . Accor took over the chain together with the entire CIWL in 1991.
In the course of its history, the CIWL procured around 4,500 cars. To maintain them, a few years after its founding in 1881, it set up the first workshop near Paris, to which around 30 other workshops were added over the years. The last own workshops were closed or sold in 2000. In some of its workshops, the CIWL built around 560 cars itself from 1883 to 1908.
|Workshop||country||Construction / purchase||Hiring / selling||Activity / Notes|
|Atéliers Saint Ouen / Paris||France||1881||1896||Repair and car construction|
|Cie. de Construction de Marly-lez-Valenciennes||France||1882||1901||Repair and wagon construction, merged with Saint Denis in 1892|
|Irun , Atéliers de WL||Spain||1887||1993||Repair and new construction|
|Saint-Denis , Cie. Generale de Construction / Atéliers de WL||France||1892||1977||Repair and car construction, merged with Marly in 1892, new building in 1909|
|Ostend -Slykens, Atéliers de WL||Belgium||1898||2000 (sold to RSI Rail Services International)||Repair and car construction|
|Vienna - Inzersdorf||Austria||1903||2000 (sold to RSI)||repair|
|Moscow , Kursk Railway Station||Russia||1904||1918||repair|
|Zossen , Atéliers de WL||Germany||1905||1945||Repair and car construction, taken over by Mitropa after 1945|
|Milan -Greco, Atéliers de WL||Italy||1910||2000 (sold to RSI)||Repair and car construction|
|Budapest , Atéliers de WL||Hungary||1912||?||Repair and car construction|
|Algiers , Atéliers de WL||Algeria||1912||?||repair|
|Munich- Neuaubing , Atéliers de WL||Germany||1913||2000||Repair and car construction, from 1956 together with DSG|
|Istanbul - Haydarpaşa||Turkey||1926||1970||repair|
|Rome Partonaccio||Italy||1928||2000 (sold to RSI)||repair|
Countries with CIWL services
In the course of its history, the CIWL was active in almost all of the existing European countries. For this purpose it mostly had local directorates and branches. The company name was written in different languages above the windows of the CIWL cars, depending on the country of operation.
|country||Company name||Start of service||attitude||Remarks|
|Belgium||Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (et des Grands Express Européens) / Internationale Maatschappij voor Slaapwagens en Europa's Groote Sneltreinen||1873||2003|
|Germany||International (rail) sleeping car company||1873||2000||Until 1914, since 1919 only international services|
|France||Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (et des Grands Express Européens)||1873||-|
|Austria||International (rail) sleeping car company||1874||-|
|Romania||Compania Internaţionala a Vagoanelor cu Paturi (si a Marelor Expresse Europene)||1876||1947|
|Italy||Compagnia Internazionale delle Carrozze (con) Letti (e dei Grandi Treni Espressi Europei)||1877||2011|
|Hungary||Nemzetközi Vasúti Hálókocsi Társaság||1878||1949|
|Spain||Compañia Internacional de Coches-Camas (y de los Grandes Expresos Europeos)||1881||2009|
|Russia||Международное Общество спальныхъ вагоновъ и скорыхъ Европейскихъ поѣздовъ||1881||1918||Until 1921 he still served in the sphere of influence of the Provisional Amur Government|
|Portugal||Companhia Internacional das Carruagens-Camas (e dos Grandes Expressos Europeus)||1881||-|
|Turkey||Avrupa Surat Katarlari ve Beynelmilel Yatakli Vagonlar Şirketi / Vagon-Li Şirketi||1888||1970||Dining car to the TCDD as early as 1966|
|United Kingdom||International Sleeping Car Company||1936||1980||Exclusively wagons of the Night Ferry , also from 1889 to 1893 individual CIWL wagons on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway , and from 1925 to 1948 wagons from the CIWL subsidiary Pullman Car Company|
|Netherlands||Internationale Maatschappij voor Slaapwagens en Europa's Groote Sneltreinen||1888||2002|
|Serbia / Yugoslavia||Međunarodno Društvo Kola za Spavanje / Међународно Друштво Кола за Спавање||1888||1948|
|Algeria||Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (et des Grands Express Européens)||1889||1962||Part of France until 1962, after 1962 still operating individual buffet cars|
|Tunisia||Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (et des Grands Express Européens)||1889||?||French colony until 1956|
|Morocco||Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (et des Grands Express Européens)||1889||1962||French colony until 1956|
|Switzerland||International (Railway) Sleeping Car Company / Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (et des Grands Express Européens)||1890||2003||From 1903 domestic services through the subsidiary Schweizerische Speisewagen-Gesellschaft|
|Egypt||Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (et des Grands Express Européens)||1898||1964|
|China||Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits||1906||1940|
|Denmark||The Internationale Sovevogns- (og de Store Europæiske Eksprestogs-) Selskab||1907||?|
|Greece||Διεθνής Εταιρία των Κλιναμαξών (και των Ταχείων Ευρωπαϊκών Αμαξοστοιχιών)||before 1914||?|
|Poland||Międzynarodowe Towarzystwo Wagonów Sypialnych (i Expresów Europejskich)||1919||1947|
|Czechoslovakia||Mezinárodní Společnost Lůžkových Vozů (a Velkých Evropských Expresních Vlaků)||1919||1951|
|Finland||Kansainvälinen Makuuvaunu- (yes Euroopan Pikajuna) yhtiö||1920||1960|
|Lithuania||Tarptautinė miegamųjų vagonų bendrovė||1923||1940|
|Latvia||Starptautiskā Guļamvagonu kompānija (Latvijas Dzelzceļu virsvalde)||1923||1940|
In addition, between 1936 and the late 1960s, the CIWL served sleeping and dining car services in railroad-owned wagons of several railway companies in the then French, Belgian and Portuguese colonies in Africa. This also included shipping services in the Congo . Other European and Asian countries such as Norway, Sweden or Iraq were served by individual CIWL courses, but the CIWL was not represented with its own branches in these countries.
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