I am sure everyone has heard about The Orient Express especially with the famous novel “Murder on the Orient Express” by English writer Agatha Christie in 1934 and a series of movies being made thereafter.
The Orient Express was actually a real long-distance passenger train service created in 1883 by The kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh’s son in 1932 Internationale des Wagons-Lits. The novel was inspired by the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh’s son in 1932.
This is the first time the company has shipped 2 of it’s original carriages from the 1920 train, a 158 year old locomotive engine and over 300 artifacts to outside of France for an exhibition. Over 200 tonnes, these carriages are considered National Treasures to French and lots of steps are taken to protect them. The exibition takes place in Singapore from Dec 2020 to June 2021 in an fully air-conditioned 2000 sq ft space to protect these treasures from our humid weather.
Happening during the pandemic, safe distancing measures were fully carried out so tickets were sold with designated time slots to ensure crowd control. Luckily, there was no crowd during my timeslot so we could just breeze through the queues.
Once you get past the temperature checks, you get the board the carriage via a few metal stairs which is pretty high so for those in heels in skirts, you will need to be careful.
The first thing you will see is a small luggage compartment where passengers probably placed the luggage in the past. The wood is visibly old and you could smell a musty dated smell from the interiors of the carriage.
The next highlight is a closed up dining cabin complete with artifacts like glasses and fur coats.
To protect these treasures, there is strictly no touching of the furniture orthe artifacts. We spoke to the staff and found that some of these artifacts with the logo is real and not replicas.
Small story cards were placed next to each artifacts owned by different passengers who used to be regular travelers on the Orient Express. It was interesting to see the back story of these passengers and among them are some very famous people.
The last carriage is the modeled to show how the cargo area would look like and the typical belongings brought by the passenger.
Once you exit the 2 carriages, you can see the rest of the exhibits which includes a timeline display for the Orient Express train and photos from some of the passengers.
You can see a classic first class train cabin on display with some of the uniforms of the train staff.
There is also an area where you can take pictures of the exterior of the train carriages.
No exhibition is complete without a gift shop where you can bring some memories of the Orient Express home if you do not mind the high price tag.
There is another area away from the carriages housing a small cafe serving snacks and drinks. The price of the drinks and food is similar to those you find at concerts or tourist attractions so if you are really in need of a bite, you can stop by the cafe.
There is another replica carriage which serves meals cooked by a Michelin star chef and is only available via prior booking. Look out for my review for that next year.
Overall, the pop up exhibition is pretty interesting perhaps only for the first 10 mins but compared to the Titanic exhibition I have visited before, it really pales in comparison. There were much lesser interactive displays and the immersive audio experiences are very limited so you spend alotof time just reading descriptive write ups but fans of the train can definitely still visit to catch these treasures since it is the first time it is displayed in Asia.
Address: Gardens by the Bay, West Lawn
Operating hours: 10 am to 9 pm on Mon,Tues,Fri and Sun
10 am to 7 pm on Wed and Thurs
10 am to 10 pm on Sat