Belgium has a rich railway history. The first Railway line, between Brussels and Mechelen was inaugurated in 1835 and fast after that, the Belgian Railway network expanded to its current form. The importance of the train, to travel fast on large distances was recognized and it didn’t took some time before the first international lines were organised. Mainlines here were the connections from France, through Germany to Northeast and Southeast Europa, with important connection from the UK.
In this expanding world, a Belgian Entrepreneur and civil engineer, Georges Nagelmackers, founded in 1876 a company that would be part of the new sector of high-class comfort on the international connections. This company would gain worldwide fame and is known under the name of “La Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL) et des Grands Express Européens”
From Belgian territory, trains were organized, with names that even today speaks to our imagination. The Nord Express, with connected Ostend with Berlin and further connection on the glorious Trans Siberië Express. The Oostende Vienne /Wenen Express was a mayor connection in the passenger traffic between the UK and the ports in the Southeast of Europe, such as Constanta and Constantinopel. After the Great War, these connections were restarted very fast and shortly after, the famous luxury day trains, such as the Edelweiss to Switzerland and the Etoile du Nord as connection between Amsterdam and Paris were part of the beau monde of the Interbellum.
Of this glorious Railway history, is almost nothing left. Therefore, we took the initiative to restore and relive this part of the history to the public !
The mission of O.V.O.E. is to offer an experience, inspired on the journeys of traveling in rich and style of the thirties.
We start with this experience in an original and restored CIWL coach from the thirties. These coaches will be placed on several places in Belgium.
Book Here your culinary experience in one of our restored coaches.