Before airplanes were in the mix, there was train travel. Before there were trains, as we know them today, there was the Orient Express – known for the setting of the famous 1934 mystery novel, Murder on the Train by Agatha Christie.

While we're certain a murder is unlikely, the historic train can still be experienced for the lavish and adventurous, if not for the bragging right to say you’ve been on the Orient Express.

For those of us without the time and luxury, however, we can still take a ride on this iconic train though stunning black and white photos, courtesy of LIFE:

orient express

orient express

orient express

orient express

orient express

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • The Shongololo Express

    The Shongololo Express offers five different routes to see Southern Africa, including a 16 day journey across six different countries. The Shongololo travels to 9 different countries including Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania. (Rui Ornelas/Flickr)

  • The Indian Pacific

    The Indian Pacific operates on 2,704 miles across Australia. It's one of the world's longest train journeys and takes three nights. Highlights include seeing two oceans, the Blue Mountains, and the treeless plains of the Nullarbor. (Peter Shank/Flickr)

  • The Ghan

    The Ghan spans from North to South Australia, taking three days to travel the 1,852 miles. Sites to see include the Adelaide plains, Flinders Ranges, Katherine Gorge, and the ever changing diversity of Australia's landscape. (Alexis O'Connor/Flickr)

  • The Eastern and Orient Express

    The Eastern & Oriental Express has four routes through South East Asia. The train runs 1,262 miles through Singapore, Malaysia Thailand, and Laos. Each journey is about a week long and goes through city, country side, and jungle to explore Southeast Asia. (David D/Flickr)

  • The Glacier Express

    The Glacier Express travels through the Swiss mountains, taking 7 ½ hours to go 181 miles, giving it the reputation of the slowest express train in the world. The route crosses the Oberalp Pass at 6,670 feet in altitude and runs all the way to the Italian border. (JanetMck/Flickr)

  • The West Highland Line

    The West Highland Line travels across Scotland from Glasgow to Mallaig. The 164 mile route crosses the world's first concrete rail viaduct at Glenfinnan (which was featured in the Harry Potter films) and the silver sands of Morar. (Chris Barber/Flickr)

  • The Zephyr

    Running between Chicago and San Francisco, the Zephyr travels through the Rocky Mountains and snow-capped Sierra Nevadas. The train runs daily and the entire trip takes about 51 hours. (Stoat50/Flickr)

  • The Rocky Mountaineer

    The Rocky Mountaineer travels on four different routes through Canada. The train only operates during the day to allow travelers to experience the views. (Alan Light/ Flickr)

  • The Douro Line

    Operating since 1887, the Douro Line runs from Oporto to Barca d´Alva in Portugal. The hour and a half trip stops at the historic Pinhão Station, one of the most beautiful train stations in the country, which is decorated with exquisite blue-and-white glazed tiles. (Hrs51/Flickr)

  • The Hiram Bingham Express

    Traveling from Cusco to Machu Picchu in Peru, the Orient Express is not only scenic, but is also one of the most luxurious ways to see Machu Picchu. It takes seven hours round trip to get to the crest of Machu Picchu, 7,500 feet above sea level. (David Berkowitz/Flickr)

  • The Pride of Africa

    The Pride of Africa has five different routes across Southern Africa. Sites to see include Victoria Falls, game reserves, and the Garden Route. (Steve Jurvetson/Flickr)

  • The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

    Called "the toy train", the DHR runs in West Bengal from Siliguri, 400 feet above sea level, to Darjeeling, 7,200 feet above sea level. It was built in 1879 and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Famous travelers include Mark Twain, who traveled on this railway in 1896. (Joe Gratz/Flickr)