Orient Express pop-up in Singapore at Gardens by the Bay: Historic exhibitions, thrilling escape room, and more

Orient Express pop-up in Singapore at Gardens by the Bay: Historic exhibitions, thrilling escape room, and more

Turn the clock back

Text: Cheryl Lai-Lim

Since travelling the globe to sightsee remains an inconceivable option for now, why not hop onboard the Orient Express train and travel through time instead? The luxury train will be rolling into town in December as a pop-up exhibition located at Gardens by the Bay. Titled 'Once Upon a Time on the Orient Express', Singapore will be the first country out of France to showcase the luxury train, following its 2014 exhibition in Paris.

The original Orient Express, created in 1883, was a long-distance passenger train that was synonymous with luxury and opulence. The splendour and lavish history of the train have fascinated many, and therefore served as plots to novels like Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express and films like James Bond's From Russia with Love.

Orient Express train exterior

The exhibition will feature two original 1930s train carriages — tagged as national treasures of France — as well as a locomotive built over a century ago. Visitors can also look forward to around 300 historic items and documents such as posters, artworks and even original Louis Vuitton suitcases — all restored and adapted to their former glory. Besides the artifacts and interactive displays, visitors can also discover the history of the Orient Express through documentaries and reels.

The heyday of the luxury rail experience is further recreated with a replica restaurant car, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. An Orient Express road café will also be up and running, to allow visitors to enjoy coffee blends made famous from places along the Orient Express route.

Orient Express train interior

The exhibition will also feature an escape room experience onboard, where you'll be able to experience the thrill of mystery not unlike the novel and film Murder on the Orient Express. As you leave the exhibition, a merchandising area featuring branded collectibles and exquisite collectors' items will be set up for you to take home a souvenir of your journey.

Once Upon a Time on the Orient Express will roll its way to Singapore from Dec 12, 2020 to June 13, 2021 at the West Lawn at Gardens by the Bay. Click here to get your tickets for the exhibition.