Because the ”Orient-Express” was such a success, it became necessary to add carriages as time passed. Heavy to begin with, passenger accommodations included ever more luxurious appointments of bronze, sculptured glass and mahogany. The steady rise in the weight of the train necessitated the use of ever more powerful locomotives. By 1914, the fleet of locomotives used by international express passenger trains represented the pinnacle of design, power and efficiency. The machines were also distinguished for their grace and elegance, words not normally used to describe sources of power that were, too often, ugly, dirty and loud.
It took me 27 years to assemble these seven locomotives which, on a day of normal service in 1914, probably would have hauled the ”Orient-Express” from Paris to the station on the east side of the city of Vienna. No producer has yet offered the locomotives that hauled the train from ”Vienna-East” to Constantinople. The market for such expensive, hand-made scale models is very limited. Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian and Turkish locomotives of 1914, and earlier, are less likely to be produced than models of the western European railways such as the seven pictured here. Two of the seven were made by a mass-market manufacturer, four by highly dedicated, ”hand-made” producers, and one was hand-made by me, simply because no manufacturer has ever offered it for sale. In 2006 Fulgurex produced the French 230K – the locomotive in question - but only as it appeared during the interwar period, with the large wind-lift plates typical of that era. For that reason, their excellent model has no place in my collection.