" (Northern Express) was introduced in 1896
by CIWL, a Belgian
night train company. It left Paris
to Saint Petersburg
The founders of CIWL wanted to establish a direct link between Saint Petersburg and Lisbon with connecting services of steam liners to America.
Due to technical reasons passengers from Russia had to change once in Germany, because Russian Railway tracks are wider than in Western Europe. In Paris there was a connecting service of Sud Express (Southern Express) to Lisbon. This train service enabled people to travel across Europe in a—by that time—very fast and comfortable way.
After World War I the train went to the baltic capitals instead of Saint Petersburg. After World War II the "iron curtain" and upcoming airplane travel set an end to this famous train connection.