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Eastern & Oriental Express History

  • Train on the platform
  • Scenery enroute
  • Children waving
  • The friendly staff of the Eastern & Oriental Express

Following the success of the famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the Eastern & Oriental Express made history as the first-ever train to transport passengers directly from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok.

This luxury train was first built in Japan in 1972 and operated as the Silver Star train in New Zealand. Its carriages were then remodelled and designed by Gérard Gallet, the man behind much of the design and refurbishment of both the British Pullman and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

An enormous amount of work went on behind the scenes to put the E&O on the rails. The same team who had worked on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express created the interiors. As well as adding the required air-conditioning system, and ensuring the carriages were compatible with the Malaysian and Thai railway systems, the windows in the dining cars were also extended to offer panoramic views.

On board, the Eastern & Oriental Express, the atmosphere harks back to a 'Colonial' age of rattan chairs on the verandah, linen suits and tea dances. The onboard cuisine continues the same very high standards already established by the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in Europe.

The inaugural journey departed in September 1993 and the Eastern & Oriental Express quickly built for itself a highly regarded reputation as providing one of the most adventurous and exciting rail journeys in the world. In addition to the two-night journey between Singapore and Bangkok, the E&O also travels overnight to Chiang Mai from Bangkok.


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