Where was Murder on the Orient Express filmed? All the Filming Locations

Posted by Ra Moon

Istanbul, 1935. Detective Hercule Poirot embarks on the Orient Express headed for London. During the second night of the journey, the train crosses a region of the Balkans under heavy snowfall.

The following morning, one of the travelers, a rich American businessman, is found dead in his compartment, killed by twelve dagger shots. The train is blocked by the snow and Poirot takes on the task of investigating the case.

Where was Orient Express filmed

Based on the brilliant book first published in 1934 by Agatha Christie, the new adaptation directed and starring Kenneth Branagh is a great opportunity to time-travel back to the days of railroad glamour.

The movie contains a pantheon of celebrities including Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, and Daisy Ridley.

Let's go behind the scenes to find the filming locations and the places that inspired the 2017 Orient Express movie.

Murder on the Orient Express cast
Most of Murder on the Orient Express was filmed on the soundstages and backlot of Longcross Studios in London.

Branagh's crew traveled on the 21st-century version of the Orient Express - which still exists - as they initially considered filming on a real train.

This option was eventually ruled out due to the complex logistics of the production.

Murder on the Orient Express Locations

Shoot in Malta doubling as Jerusalem
The filmmakers shot on location the first scenes, set in Jerusalem, in Valletta, the capital city of Malta.

The boat departs from the old Customs House near Lascaris Bastion, which has been digitally altered to remove modern elements, such as the new Barrakka Lift (on the left).
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
 Image by Frank Vincentz- Map

Orient Express Istanbul Station
The voyage begins in a building made via CGI, loosely inspired by the actual Sirkeci Railway Station, the former terminal stop of the Orient Express in Istanbul, Turkey.

Today, this Ottoman Art Nouveau landmark is home to the Istanbul Railway Museum.
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox and Martin Dürrschnabel - Map

Murder on the Orient Express Location
However, no filming took place in Turkey; the interior of the station was completely recreated on a wondrous set at Longcross Studios in the UK.

The mosque, the twilight sky, and many other elements were added using CGI.
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Bridge scene
A monumental set of the convoy cut off in a viaduct railroad was erected in a backlot at Longcross.

Green screens and digital graphics help to create the illusion that you are stranded in the Balkans, when in fact you are filming less than 30 miles from central London.
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Steam locomotive comboy
Two working replicas of the legendary train, complete with locomotives and carriages, were also recreated in the studios.
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Behind the scenes
Many scenes were shot old-school style using a projector in the windows of a coach built on a soundstage.

Instead of using digital cameras, Branagh decided to film with the last four 65mm cameras in the world.
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Brod train station
The beautiful Brod railway station was also a set built in the studios.

Brod is a real town located in the Republika Srpska, one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It's located near Croatia, where there's another town called Slavonski Brod just across the border.
Image by Hans Hillewaert - Map

Mord im Orient-Express drehort
Additional filming with no cast took place on a private railway line between Triengen and Büron in Switzerland.

The crew took establishing shots from various angles of a 1-241 A 65 steam locomotive, one of the last surviving models of its kind.
Image by Schapo

Tranz Alpine Line
According to the New Zealand Film Commission, the landscape footage of the mountains was filmed on the South Island of New Zealand.

The crew travelled the Tranz Alpine Line, which runs from the east coast to the west coast, to double the locations for the Swiss Alps.
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox - Map

Orient Express Mountain
Also, the local press reported that some filming took place on the Great St Bernard Pass, on the border between Italy and Switzerland.
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox - Map

Bassenthwaite Lake Station
Today, you can have lunch and coffee aboard the replica of the coaches built for this movie, located at the Bassenthwaite Lake Station and Carriage Cafe in Cumbria.

Opened in 1865, this restored train station is on the former Cockermouth, Keswick, and Penrith railway line in the Lake District.
Image courtesy of Google Maps

Can you help to improve this article about the filming locations for Murder on the Orient Express?
To complete and correct this report, any feedback, info, or images that you may have are more than welcome, thank you!

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  1. Vinkovci and Brod are Croatian cities placed in the Pannonian basin not in the mountains.

    1. Brod I suppose is short from Kostinbrod which is a city in Bulgaria on the railroad to Belgrade.

    2. Well how lovely to receive an answer, thank you👋🏻

  2. Nope, it's short for Slavonski Brod, as seen in a movie train passes thru Vinkovci (which is in croatian plains) and it's on the way to Slavonski Brod, also in plains. Also in the novel train is stopped by snow drift, located in the plains between Vinkovci and Slavonski Brod, not by avalanche.

    1. When you notice that there are not mountains on the way from Vinkovci to Brod...😂😂

  3. Thank you very much for this article. I started my search after seeing the end scene at Brod station and noticed the forest were not indigenous. Your pictures of CGI and additional information was informative.

  4. It's really interesting how the film makers makes things so unique that it comes alive on the screen, without even going to places to shoot a movie. Thank you for sharing.

  5. How could Valletta double for Jerusalem? Jerusalem is miles from the sea!

  6. Enjoyed this film so much, I too did lots of research and came across this article, which was very helpful. I guess the set of Brod station has been dismantled. How long did the movie take to make? Beautiful scenes, especially the ones from NZ.

  7. I would not be interested in any other movie based of Agatha Christie's masterpiece book "Murder on the Orient Express" unless it was filmed on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express train as the excellent 1974 Albert Finney version was.

  8. The train is now at Bassenthwaite Lake Station in the Lake District in Northern England and you can have a meal on board. I have photos but don't know how to post them

    1. If we can publish one on Atlas of Wonders, you can send them to atlasofwonders@gmail.com, please.


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