The Orient Express Rail Graveyard
THE ABANDONED TRAINS IN BELGIUM
‘The Orient Express’ is a train graveyard close to the train station in Leuven. It was an old shunting track full with rusty trains and coaches.
The derelict rolling stock was placed here by the national railway company from Belgium. The plans were to safe them for a railway museum. Because the city planned a new parking lot on this site the trains had to move. But as long there is no place available for the museum the trains are getting worse and worse.
In 2012 many trains were moved, including the Red Cross coach. Eventually only the old type 620 train is left. The type 620 was once the pride of the Belgium railway, they were introduced in 1936 and built by Baume et Marpent.
On the internet the photos of this train went viral because a photographer called it the ‘Orient Express’. But actually the type 620 was only used for national transport. The real ‘Orient Express’ was a long-distance passenger train service created in 1883 by Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. It was a showcase of luxury and comfort at a time when travelling was still rough and dangerous.
I visited the train graveyard in Leuven in 2008 and 2017. The last rolling stock was moved away in 2018.