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Georges Nagelmackers

 Businessman (1845-1905).Georges Nagelmackers was born in Liège into a wealthy banking family (their bank was founded in 1747). In 1867-8 he travelled extensively in the USA and was impressed by the luxury Pullman carriages, sleeping-cars and restaurant-cars that were used for many long-distance railway services there. On his return to Europe, he started to develop links with the national rail operators, and in 1874 he founded the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits CIWL (International Sleeping-Car Company).Nagelmackers had a fleet of luxury carriages built that were used to form complete trains or attached to other trains. CIWL was a huge success and its long-distance express services included the Orient-Express (Paris-Istanbul), Nord-Express (Paris-St Petersburg) and Sud-Express (Paris-Lisbon). CIWL also provided carriages for the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia. CIWL also built luxury hotels for its passengers, including the Pera Palace in Istanbul, the Terminus Hotels in Bordeaux and Marseilles, the Hotel de la Plage in Ostend and the Grand Hotel in Beijing. The company’s glamorous reputation was boosted by the publication of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, a frequent traveller on the train and guest at the Pera Palace Hotel. CIWL took over Thomas Cook in 1927 and became part of the Accor group in 1991. Today the company’s name lives on in CarlsonWagonLit Travel, a business travel agency, and the restored luxury “Orient Express” private train. The Nagelmackers Bank is now part of Delta Lloyd.

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