The Real ‘Orient Express’ Train Is Coming To S’pore So You Can Reimagine Agatha Christie’s Novel

‘Once Upon A Time On The Orient Express’ Pop-Up At Gardens By The Bay From 12 Dec

The Orient Express is a legendary luxury train that inspired great works such as Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.

Johnny Depp in the 2017 film version

It’s easy to be intoxicated with the train’s aesthetics because it’s rare to see anything like it in today’s MRTs and bullet trains.

In Dec 2020, it will be possible for Singaporeans to travel back in time and relish the decadent rail experience for themselves.

Image courtesy of Direction Groups

A fairytale-like pop-up attraction, called Once Upon A Time on the Orient Express, will open at Gardens by the Bay in December — and we’re the first country to see this outside of France.

Explore the bygone era of luxurious train carriages with a century-old locomotive engine, historical artefacts, and museum boutique.

Orient Express display has classic furniture & OG Louis Vuitton luggage

The Orient Express was a train service created in 1883, plying several routes that ran through France and Istanbul. It has since been hailed as a symbol for luxury travel.

The upcoming Once Upon A Time On The Orient Express exhibition lets you take a literal walk through time with an array of exquisite historical items on display.

Image courtesy of Direction Groups


The beautifully designed cultural journey will take you through 2 original Orient Express train carriages and over 300 items and documents.

They include artefacts, furniture, dainty porcelain, posh original Louis Vuitton luggage, conductor uniforms, and scenic stopover displays.


Rich display of culture & history

1883 was a long time ago, but we still get to experience how it was like aboard the famed train thanks to the exhibition’s immersive experience.

They boast moving visuals of interactive displays, documentaries, and film clips.


These classic posters in the cabin are testament to the rich history behind the original Orient Express.


Savour meals at the restaurant car & road café

No cultural journey is complete without gastronomy. Rest assured, you can indulge in a rare dining experience at the restaurant car that’s replicated after the real one.


Once you’ve disembarked the train, drop by the Orient Express road café.

Here, you get to explore a rich selection of coffee blends, many of which became famous along the many stops of the Orient Express.

Image courtesy of Direction Groups

Original train carriages will be shipped from France

Assembling this larger-than-life exhibition will require a lot of preparation.

According to TODAY Online, 2 original 1930 train carriages and a 158-year-old locomotive will be shipped directly from France to our shores.


This pop-up attraction would be taking up 2,000 sq m of space — equivalent to 2 standard 50m pools or an area that can park 200 cars.

The endeavour to transport something weighing “hundreds of tonnes” across the sea is no mean feat, considering the fact that there’s additional safety measures to follow.


But with every great effort, comes an even greater sense of achievement once the task is completed. We can’t wait to check out the opulent rail experience ourselves.

Here’s what you need to know.

‘Once Upon A Time on the Orient Express’ pop-up
Address: West Lawn, Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
Dates: 12 Dec 2020-13 Jun 2021
Price: $25-$88
Nearest MRT: Bayfront
Tickets: Available for purchase here.

BRB, booking tickets for a cultural ride

Local tourism is opening up and safety regulations are loosening.

Singaporeans are certainly glad to not be cooped up in their houses anymore. And this culturally rich yet glamorous attraction is something we can look forward to at the end of the year.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at

Featured image adapted from Direction Groups.

Atalia Chua

Atalia is happily married to Min Yoongi. He just doesn't know it yet.

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