Blauwe Roemeen WR4249

Object number 1044


In 1872, Georges Nagelmackers was eager to offer luxurious train travel all throughout Europe with his newly-founded Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. He envisioned journeys with comfortable sleeping cars, restaurant cars and entertainment aboard the train. It took several years for Nagelmacker’s dream to come to full fruition. Not until 1881 did the CIWL have restaurant cars with kitchens built into them. The WR (Wagon Restaurant) 4249 is an example of such a car. It was part of lines such as the Holland-Scandinavia Express, which ran between Hoek van Holland and Hannover, Germany. The train was part of the ferry-and-rail connection between the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. This type of carriage was also found in the Northern Express line that linked Paris with Saint Petersburg. Because the interior of the WR 4249 was built during World War II, it is somewhat less ornate than the previous series of coaches. Still, the 4249 remains quite luxurious. In fact, the museum briefly operated its own museum restaurant inside the car.