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La supercar unique Bulldog de 1979 d’Aston Martin franchit enfin la barrière des 200 mph

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La super voiture unique Bulldog d’Aston Martin a finalement dépassé les 200 mph, plus de 40 ans après sa construction.

Le Bulldog était un concept unique réalisé en 1979 dans le but de montrer les capacités de la nouvelle usine d’ingénierie de l’entreprise à Milton Keynes.

Lorsqu’il a été testé pour la première fois, il atteignait 191 mph, mais il a ensuite été vendu à un prince arabe après que la société britannique soit tombée en difficulté financière.

Un projet de restauration de longue haleine a été achevé en 2021.

Aujourd’hui, il a atteint une vitesse maximale de 205,4 mph, à l’aérodrome de Machrihanish, une ancienne base de l’OTAN à Campbeltown, en Écosse.

La super voiture unique Bulldog d'Aston Martin a finalement dépassé les 200 mph, plus de 40 ans après sa construction.  Aujourd'hui, le pilote de course Darren Turner, vainqueur des prestigieuses 24 heures du Mans, a atteint une vitesse de pointe de 205,4 mph dans la voiture

La super voiture unique Bulldog d’Aston Martin a finalement dépassé les 200 mph, plus de 40 ans après sa construction. Aujourd’hui, le pilote de course Darren Turner, vainqueur des prestigieuses 24 heures du Mans, a atteint une vitesse de pointe de 205,4 mph dans la voiture

Le pilote Darren Turner, triple vainqueur des prestigieuses 24 Heures du Mans, a déclaré : « L’objectif de 200 mph de Bulldog a pris plus de 40 ans, faire partie de cet héritage est un sentiment fantastique.

La supercar Aston Martin Bulldog de 1979

Conception: Guillaume Villes

Produit : 1979

Style corporel: coupé deux portes

Des portes: aile de mouette

Engrenages : Boîte de vitesses à cinq rapports de fabrication allemande

Roues: 8,5 pouces (avant), 11 pouces (arrière)

Accélération (0-60 mph): 5,1 mph

Vitesse de pointe: 200 mph environ

Moteur: V8 biturbo de 5,3 litres

Hauteur: 43 pouces

Longueur: 15 pieds 6 pouces

“Le Bulldog a maintenant tenu la promesse d’Aston Martin dans les années 1980 et tous ceux qui ont travaillé sur la voiture – de ceux qui l’ont conçue et construite pour la première fois à Classic Motor Cars qui a entrepris la restauration sous la direction de Richard Gauntlett, peuvent être très fiers.”

Il a ajouté: “Les conditions étaient parfaites pour la course et la voiture a parfaitement fonctionné aussi, atteignant facilement la barre des 200 mph.”

Aston Martin avait initialement prévu de construire entre 15 et 20 voitures, mais la société a ensuite décidé que le projet était trop coûteux et qu’une seule a donc été fabriquée.

Lorsque le propriétaire suivant l’a emmenée pour la première fois, le moteur V8 de 5,3 litres à double turbocompresseur a explosé.

La voiture a de nouveau fait la une des journaux en 2020 lorsqu’elle a été achetée par le passionné d’automobile Philip Sarofim, qui a demandé à Richard Gauntlett, le fils de l’ancien propriétaire d’Aston Martin, Martin Victor Gauntlett, de la restaurer.

Le Bulldog a été restauré en 18 mois par la société Classic Motor Cars, basée dans le Shropshire.

Tim Griffin, directeur général de l’entreprise, a déclaré : « Grâce au travail acharné de l’équipe CMC, l’Aston Martin Bulldog a réussi !

“Les habitants de Campbeltown nous ont été très accueillants et encourageants, et nous sommes heureux de leur donner l’opportunité de voir la voiture et de rencontrer Darren.”

M. Sarofim a déclaré: «Aujourd’hui, il s’agit de réaliser des rêves, les rêves des concepteurs et ingénieurs originaux qui ont créé Bulldog.

Aujourd'hui, il a atteint une vitesse maximale de 205,4 mph, à l'aérodrome de Machrihanish, une ancienne base de l'OTAN à Campbeltown, en Écosse.

Aujourd’hui, il a atteint une vitesse maximale de 205,4 mph, à l’aérodrome de Machrihanish, une ancienne base de l’OTAN à Campbeltown, en Écosse.

Le pilote Darren Turner, triple vainqueur des prestigieuses 24 Heures du Mans, a déclaré :

Le pilote Darren Turner, triple vainqueur des prestigieuses 24 Heures du Mans, a déclaré : “L’objectif de 200 mph de Bulldog a duré plus de 40 ans, faire partie de cet héritage est un sentiment fantastique”

Aston Martin avait initialement prévu de construire entre 15 et 20 voitures, mais la société a ensuite décidé que le projet était trop coûteux et qu'une seule a donc été fabriquée.  Ci-dessus : La voiture après restauration

Aston Martin avait initialement prévu de construire entre 15 et 20 voitures, mais la société a ensuite décidé que le projet était trop coûteux et qu’une seule a donc été fabriquée. Ci-dessus : La voiture après restauration

La voiture magnifiquement restaurée dispose d'un intérieur en cuir marron somptueux.  Aston Martin avait initialement prévu de vendre le modèle pour environ 200 000 £ - plus de 800 000 £ en argent d'aujourd'hui

La voiture magnifiquement restaurée dispose d’un intérieur en cuir marron somptueux. Aston Martin avait initialement prévu de vendre le modèle pour environ 200 000 £ – plus de 800 000 £ en argent d’aujourd’hui

La voiture a de nouveau fait la une des journaux en 2020 lorsqu'elle a été achetée par le passionné d'automobile Philip Sarofim, qui a demandé à Richard Gauntlett, le fils de l'ancien propriétaire d'Aston Martin, Martin Victor Gauntlett, de la restaurer.  Ci-dessus : l'intérieur de la voiture

La voiture a de nouveau fait la une des journaux en 2020 lorsqu’elle a été achetée par le passionné d’automobile Philip Sarofim, qui a demandé à Richard Gauntlett, le fils de l’ancien propriétaire d’Aston Martin, Martin Victor Gauntlett, de la restaurer. Ci-dessus : l’intérieur de la voiture

Le Bulldog a été restauré par Classic Motor Cars, de Bridgend, Shropshire.  Ci-dessus : le côté du superbe véhicule

Le Bulldog a été restauré par Classic Motor Cars, de Bridgend, Shropshire. Ci-dessus : le côté du superbe véhicule

Le Bulldog a été restauré en 18 mois par la société Classic Motor Cars, basée dans le Shropshire.

Le Bulldog a été restauré en 18 mois par la société Classic Motor Cars, basée dans le Shropshire.

“Ces pionniers de l’automobile brisaient les barrières, pas seulement les barrières de vitesse, mais les frontières de la conception, de l’innovation et de l’ingénierie.”

M. Gauntlett a ajouté: «C’est un moment vraiment incroyable d’assister à la fin d’un chapitre de 45 ans dans l’histoire de l’incroyable Aston Martin Bulldog.

“L’équipe qui l’a construit et l’équipe qui l’a reconstruit célèbrent à juste titre leurs réalisations capitales et il est réconfortant de voir tout leur travail acharné récompensé.”

Après avoir été initialement vendu par Aston Martin, le Bulldog a passé du temps dans plusieurs unités de stockage à travers le monde, y compris aux États-Unis.

Il a finalement été localisé en Extrême-Orient et acheté par un fan de Bulldog américain avant d’être transporté dans le Shropshire pour y être restauré.

Le Daily Mail a rendu compte de la voiture lors de sa première fabrication, révélant comment cela aurait coûté aux acheteurs la somme stupéfiante de 200 000 £ – plus de 800 000 £ en argent d’aujourd’hui.

Le Daily Mail a rendu compte de la voiture lors de sa première fabrication, révélant comment cela aurait coûté aux acheteurs la somme stupéfiante de 200 000 £ - plus de 800 000 £ en argent d'aujourd'hui

Le Daily Mail a rendu compte de la voiture lors de sa première fabrication, révélant comment cela aurait coûté aux acheteurs la somme stupéfiante de 200 000 £ – plus de 800 000 £ en argent d’aujourd’hui

Le journal raconte comment la voiture a été photographiée dans un parking par un écolier de 11 ans, Giles Cockings

Le journal raconte comment la voiture a été photographiée dans un parking par un écolier de 11 ans, Giles Cockings

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International

FRANCE 24 exclusive report in Haiti: The Iron Grip of the Gangs

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In Port-au-Prince, nearly three million people are living in the grips of an asphyxiating gang war. The crisis continues despite the arrival of the first Kenyan police officers as part of a UN-backed multinational force to stem the violence. Although this international effort offers a glimmer of hope, few residents believe it could provide an effective or long-lasting solution. FRANCE 24’s Catherine Norris-Trent and Roméo Langlois bring you behind the scenes of this exclusive 52-minute documentary. 

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Brad Pitt’s daughter Shiloh Jolie takes out newspaper ad announcing she is dropping his surname – as it’s claimed bitter Angelina Jolie divorce battle is still ongoing as ‘neither will let it go’

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Brad Pitt’s daughter Shiloh Jolie is moving ahead with her petition to legally drop the actor’s surname – taking out a newspaper ad in The LA Times.

Shiloh, who hired and paid for her own lawyer when she filed to drop the Pitt name on her 18th birthday in May, filed to change her name from Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt to Shiloh Nouvel Jolie, per the newspaper notice obtained by TMZ.

The ad is a standard step before the court will approve a name change.

The notice also states anyone who has objections to the petition should show up in court later this month.  

A source close to the matter told Dailymail.com last month: ‘Shiloh hired her own lawyer and paid for it herself, so Angie doesn’t know and can’t speak for it. 

Brad Pitt 's daughter Shiloh Jolie is moving ahead with her petition to legally drop the actor's surname - taking out a newspaper ad in The LA Times - pictured with mom Angelina Jolie in 2021

Brad Pitt ‘s daughter Shiloh Jolie is moving ahead with her petition to legally drop the actor’s surname – taking out a newspaper ad in The LA Times – pictured with mom Angelina Jolie in 2021

Pitt, 60, is reportedly 'upset and aware' that his daughter Shiloh filed to drop his last name from her own on her 18th birthday; seen in January 2023 in Paris

Pitt, 60, is reportedly ‘upset and aware’ that his daughter Shiloh filed to drop his last name from her own on her 18th birthday; seen in January 2023 in Paris

‘But, if you’re asking if this is connected to the abuse history or the violation of Shiloh’s victims rights, yes, that’s part of it.’

The revelation that Shiloh paid herself suggests that the ugly spat between former couple Pitt, 60, and Jolie, 48, may still rumble on in the form of legal action from the six children the couple once shared. 

There have been long custody battles which ended eventually in a victory for Pitt, who got 50-50 custody in 2021 only to have it overturned on appeal.

He’s had a judge intervene to tell Angelina she mustn’t listen in on his mobile phone calls with the children. The judge has also ordered ‘reunification therapy’ for Pitt and the kids.

The actor set up a skate park in his home for Shiloh, and more recently an art studio to reflect their common interest in art.

He’s sent cars and security to ferry the children from her home to his whenever there is an allotted custody visit. Sadly, none of it has brought them closer.

In fact son Pax said in an Instagram post in 2016 that all four of the youngest children – that’s including Shiloh – ‘tremble with fear in his presence.’ The two elder ones were at that point already declining point blank to see him.

The current situation has seen the children – Maddox, 22, Pax, 20, Zahara, 19, Shiloh 18, and Knox and Vivienne, 16 – form a tight gang of seven with his former wife.

Shiloh, who hired and paid for her own lawyer when she filed to drop the Pitt name on her 18th birthday in May, filed to change her name from Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt to Shiloh Nouvel Jolie, per the newspaper notice - pictured 2021

Shiloh, who hired and paid for her own lawyer when she filed to drop the Pitt name on her 18th birthday in May, filed to change her name from Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt to Shiloh Nouvel Jolie, per the newspaper notice – pictured 2021 

The current situation has seen the children - Maddox, 22, Pax, 20, Zahara, 19, Shiloh 18, and Knox and Vivienne, 16 - form a tight gang of seven with his former wife

The current situation has seen the children – Maddox, 22, Pax, 20, Zahara, 19, Shiloh 18, and Knox and Vivienne, 16 – form a tight gang of seven with his former wife

Pitt has been involved in an ongoing divorce battle for years, seemingly stemming from a 2016 incident on a plane in which Jolie accused Pitt of assaulting her; the family seen in 2011

Pitt has been involved in an ongoing divorce battle for years, seemingly stemming from a 2016 incident on a plane in which Jolie accused Pitt of assaulting her; the family seen in 2011

A central issue seems to be a notorious private jet confrontation in 2016.

An FBI report on the incident, which was published in 2022, saw Jolie accuse Pitt of physical assault while flying to California in 2016. She claimed that he was intoxicated and that he grabbed her by the head and shook her, and later pushed her down, as part of a confrontation allegedly related to their children.

Jolie told the FBI that Pitt told the children that she was ‘f***ing up this family,’ and she said he punched the ceiling of the airplane four times. 

She claimed that at one point he poured beer on her and a blanket she was under with multiple children. 

Source close to Pitt later claimed that he never hit any of the children, though they admitted that he had been drinking. 

This comes amid recent claims that Pitt and Jolie’s divorce – which has now dragged on for eight years – is still ongoing as neither of the stars can ‘let it go.

A source told People ‘their disagreements took over’ in the relationship, adding that things ‘turned nasty and it was not a good situation for anyone.’

‘All the bitterness is partly why the divorce has dragged on for so many years. Neither will let it go. You’d think they would be over it and just settle.’

Angelina Jolie, pictured in April 2024, has been blamed for widening the rift between her daughter and ex-husband

Angelina Jolie, pictured in April 2024, has been blamed for widening the rift between her daughter and ex-husband 

A separate insider said: ‘Both of them were having issues with each other. The differences added up over time. It’s really sad for the children, but also the parents. Divorce, especially one so high-profile, can be challenging for the whole family.

‘They both care. They both care about the children.’

Pitt and Jolie began dating publicly shortly after he and his then-wife Jennifer Aniston announced their divorce in 2005. 

The Mr. And Mrs. Smith costars remained unmarried for years despite having multiple adopted and biological children together, but they got engaged in 2012 and finally tied the knot in 2014.

However, it was only around two years later when the Maleficent actress filed for divorce in 2016. She and Pitt were declared legally single in 2019.

Pitt is now dating Ines de Ramon, 35.

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Pogacar clinches stage 19 in Tour de France with attack on final climb

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Tadej Pogacar overtook three riders on the final 16-kilometer climb to win stage 19 of the Tour de France in the southern Alps on Friday. Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard finished sixth and now stands more than five minutes behind his main rival with two stages to go.

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How millions of Americans could go without a paycheck this month due to global Crowdstrike crash – are YOU at risk?

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Millions of workers are at risk of not receiving their paychecks this month amid a global outage that could last weeks.

Several of America’s biggest banks saw their systems crash this morning, preventing people from accessing their accounts or receiving or sending money.

TD Bank and Bank of America was still down for millions this afternoon but TD said its systems have been restored while customers are still complaining on Downdetector that they can’t use the banking systems.

The Global Payroll Association (GPA) warned that people ‘risk going without their wages’ because their employers or banks rely on CrowdStrike for cybersecurity protection. 

The Crowdstrike global outage has stopped millions of workers from receiving their paychecks after banking systems went down on Friday

The Crowdstrike global outage has stopped millions of workers from receiving their paychecks after banking systems went down on Friday

It remains unclear how widespread the payroll disruption is, but Melanie Pizzey, the founder and CEO of GPA said her company had received complaints from a number of clients who couldn’t access their payroll software because of the outage.

Payroll systems typically need to be notified of any issues that would stop direct deposits from going through at least two days before the payday for the issue to be resolved in time. 

‘Depending on the length of this outage, it could have very serious implications for businesses across the nation, particularly those who process payroll on a weekly basis,’ Pizzey said. 

‘Furthermore, we could see a backlog with regard to processing payrolls for the coming month end which may delay employees from receiving their monthly wage.’ 

George Kurtz, the CEO of the software company whose bug caused the issues, said it could be weeks before systems are back up and running.

Meanwhile, issues with Visa and Zelle are not allowing people to make or receive payments, and there’s no estimated timeframe for when they’ll be back up and running.

The outage first started with Microsoft, leading many people to believe that the company’s systems were at fault, but within hours, Crowdstrike admitted that an update to its ‘Falcon Sensor,’ which searches for viruses and malicious attacks was to blame.

TD Bank, Visa, Zelle and Bank of America have all been impacted and tech market analyst Dan Ives told DailyMail.com that the global outage 'will take 24 to 36 hours to fully get under control.'

TD Bank, Visa, Zelle and Bank of America have all been impacted and tech market analyst Dan Ives told DailyMail.com that the global outage ‘will take 24 to 36 hours to fully get under control.’

People took to social media to complain about the outage’s impact on the financial implications, with one person writing on X: ‘No direct deposit yet. Global it outage coupled with TD being Canada’s crappiest big 5 bank now means could be a bit.’ 

Another person wrote: ‘My company was not affected by the IT outage but our payroll software was. Happy Friday.’ 

One Bank of America customer wrote on Downdetector that they weren’t able to deposit a check at a local branch at 11:30 a.m..

The customer said when she went back five hours later, the money was ‘still not available’ and there wasn’t any record that the check was deposited.

TD Bank issued a statement at 2 p.m. ET, 12 hours after the outage began, telling customers that many of its impacted systems have been restored but warned that they may still experience service delays and longer wait times.

The Crowdstrike outage impacted Microsoft’s 365 apps and Azure service that are used by more than 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies and eight of the top financial institutions across 43 US states.

Microsoft 365 is a cloud-powered platform that helps businesses protect against cyber threats and keep information secure and private for shared files and email messages and links.

Its Defender for Office app helps prevent, detect and respond to phishing and ransomware threats.

Azure is a cloud firewall security serves that provides threat protections for files, data and other apps.

The software failure grounded airplanes, disrupted 911 call centers, and caused government agencies like the Social Security Administration to shut down for the day.

Crowdstrike has assured customers that the outage was not caused by a cybersecurity attack, but tech market analyst Dan Ives told DailyMail.com that the global outage is ‘an epic disaster’ and it ‘will take 24 to 36 hours to fully get under control.’

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Tunisia’s President Saied says will seek re-election amid intensified ‘crackdown on opposition’

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Tunisia’s President Kais Saied said Friday he will stand for re-election in an October vote. The announcement comes  after Amnesty International said earlier this week that Tunisian authorities had intensified a “crackdown” on the political opposition.

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Praxis considering takeover of shopping centre owner Capital & Regional

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Property investment group Praxis is considering a takeover of shopping centre owner Capital & Regional.

Praxis, which manages 19 shopping centres in the UK, said it was considering a cash offer for the listed real estate investment trust (REIT). It has not given Capital & Regional any suggestion of what an offer price or terms could be.

Praxis has until the end of August 16 to announce a firm intention to make an offer or not. But it could extend the deadline if regulators agree.

Capital & Regional, which owns shopping centres in Edinburgh, London and Kent, says it has assets worth £373 million.

The news stoked fears that another business could quit the London stock market soon. Capital & Regional shares have been listed since 1993. They rose 1.4 per cent, or 0.9p, to 65p yesterday.

Best foot forward: Praxis, which manages 19 shopping centres in the UK, said it was in considering a cash offer for Capital & Regional

Best foot forward: Praxis, which manages 19 shopping centres in the UK, said it was in considering a cash offer for Capital & Regional

Praxis is the third potential buyer to have expressed an interest in less than two months.

NewRiver made a proposal to Capital & Regional’s largest stakeholder in May when Vukile Property Fund also withdrew a bid.

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French lawmakers cry foul after suspected ballot-stuffing in National Assembly

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French lawmakers called for an investigation on Friday amid suspicions of ballot-stuffing in a vote for deputy speakers in the National Assembly. A re-vote led to the election of deputies from the hard left to the centre right, but none from the far right.

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Inside Thailand’s incredible railway-themed hotel that time-warps guests to the golden era of rail travel, with vintage train carriages upcycled into luxury bedrooms and a ‘Poirot bar’

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When I arrive at InterContinental Khao Yai Resort, I’m instructed to ring a gold bell.

The bell isn’t supposed to summon anyone.

Rather, it mimics the platform bell rung before trains depart from railway stations in Thailand, where the hotel is located.

It’s a clever way to throw me into the concept behind the retreat – recreating the ‘golden age’ of rail travel in Thailand, a period beginning in the late 1800s when the country’s first railway system was established under King Rama V’s reign. 

It’s a theme bound to the resort’s setting in Nakhon Ratchasima, a province that flourished as a railway hub in that era. To realise this vision, vintage train carriages have been recast as sumptuous hotel suites and dining areas. Separate guesthouses, with 45 retro rooms between them, are named after local railway stations.

Ailbhe MacMahon stays at InterContinental Khao Yai Resort in Thailand, which recreates the 'golden age' of rail travel in the country. To realise this vision, derelict vintage train carriages have been upcycled and restored as sumptuous hotel suites and dining areas

Ailbhe MacMahon stays at InterContinental Khao Yai Resort in Thailand, which recreates the ‘golden age’ of rail travel in the country. To realise this vision, derelict vintage train carriages have been upcycled and restored as sumptuous hotel suites and dining areas

Nineteen suites are housed in 2.5m- (8ft) wide carriages. Ailbhe stays in a Heritage Railcar One Bedroom Pool Villa (above)

Nineteen suites are housed in 2.5m- (8ft) wide carriages. Ailbhe stays in a Heritage Railcar One Bedroom Pool Villa (above)

Ailbhe's villa features a curtained outdoor tub. She describes her room as 'opulent'

Ailbhe’s villa features a curtained outdoor tub. She describes her room as ‘opulent’

It’s all the invention of Bangkok-based designer Bill Bensley, who says it’s ‘a time warp into another era, filled with train memorabilia I collected myself’.

After my bell-ringing session, a waistcoat-wearing staff member escorts me to ‘Khao Yai Station’ (the reception) to check in.

Beneath its gable roof is a train departures board and a ticket window. A cart piled with antique trunks is parked outside. A nook holds a train conductor’s bunk bed with vintage Playboy magazines hidden underneath the mattress. 

The hotel's lobby area (above) is called 'Khao Yai Station'. Ailbhe writes: 'Beneath its gable roof is a train departures board and a ticket window. A cart piled with antique trunks is parked outside. A nook holds a train conductor’s bunk bed with vintage Playboy magazines hidden underneath the mattress'

The hotel’s lobby area (above) is called ‘Khao Yai Station’. Ailbhe writes: ‘Beneath its gable roof is a train departures board and a ticket window. A cart piled with antique trunks is parked outside. A nook holds a train conductor’s bunk bed with vintage Playboy magazines hidden underneath the mattress’

The exterior of the station-style lobby

One of the spa carriages has been left partially unrenovated

LEFT: The exterior of the station-style lobby. RIGHT: One of the spa carriages has been left partially unrenovated

A sign above the toilets reads: ‘Do not flush when the train is in the station.’

I’m getting a kick from the theatre of it all.

I’m chauffeured by a golf buggy around the grounds, a former cornfield that, with zealous landscaping, has been turned into a verdant 19-hectare (47-acre) expanse surrounding a vast artificial lake.

Scanning the property, I see railway paraphernalia resourcefully put to use; luggage racks store cocktail glasses and railway sleepers mark out pathways.

What's brewing? The golden era of rail. Above is the elegant interior of the hotel's afternoon tea carriage

What’s brewing? The golden era of rail. Above is the elegant interior of the hotel’s afternoon tea carriage

Pictured above is the ‘Terminus’ poolside bar. Ailbhe remarks that she gets a kick from the theatre of the resort

Pictured above is the ‘Terminus’ poolside bar. Ailbhe remarks that she gets a kick from the theatre of the resort

The idea for the hotel, which opened two years ago under IHG, first came to Bensley when he saw a Bangkok trainyard full of derelict train carriages. So began his daydreams of bringing them back to life.

In a process he describes as a ‘scavenger hunt’, he tracked down carriages all over Thailand – some were long abandoned and clotted with tree roots. 

Radical upcycling of these carriages, which average 80 years old, followed. A crane planted them on the resort grounds.

Nineteen suites are housed in these 2.5m- (8ft) wide carriages, the name of the fictional train line ‘Khao Yai Express’ embellished on their sides in looping lettering.

Ailbhe's room, above, 'revolves around an odyssey to Cambodia, manifesting in richly patterned ceilings, golden bathroom fixtures and an angular headboard shaped like the towers of Angkor Wat'

Ailbhe’s room, above, ‘revolves around an odyssey to Cambodia, manifesting in richly patterned ceilings, golden bathroom fixtures and an angular headboard shaped like the towers of Angkor Wat’

Ailbhe says that while ensconced in her compartment (above), she can kid herself 'into thinking I’m rattling along on a supremely luxurious train journey'

Ailbhe says that while ensconced in her compartment (above), she can kid herself ‘into thinking I’m rattling along on a supremely luxurious train journey’

The shower and hallway in Ailbhe’s Heritage Railcar One Bedroom Pool Villa

A neighbouring carriage holds the 'Back On Track' spa

LEFT: The shower and hallway in Ailbhe’s Heritage Railcar One Bedroom Pool Villa. RIGHT: A neighbouring carriage holds the ‘Back On Track’ spa 

IMPORTANT EVENTS IN THAILAND’S RAIL HISTORY 

  • 1856: King Rama IV was gifted a model railway by Queen Victoria. His son, King Rama V – under whose reign Thailand’s railway system would go on to launch – was three years old at the time.
  • 1890: The state-owned rail operator, now known as the State Railway of Thailand, was founded as the Royal State Railways of Siam. At that time, Thailand was still the Kingdom of Siam. Its name changed to Thailand in 1939.
  • 1893: Thailand’s first railway, the Paknam Railway, was opened on April 11. The 21km- (13-mile) route connects Bangkok with Pak Nam, a town in central Thailand.
  • Early 1940s: The Thai-Burma Railway, also known as the ‘Death Railway’, was constructed by Southeast Asian forced labourers and Allied prisoners of war, under the command of the Japanese. The transport system was a supply route for the Japanese from Ban Pong in Thailand to Thanbyuzayat in Burma, modern-day Myanmar, during the Burma Campaign. More than 90,000 Southeast Asian civilians and 12,000 Allied prisoners of war died during the construction.
  • 1999: The BTS Skytrain, Bangkok’s elevated rapid train system, was opened. It was modelled on the SkyTrain in Vancouver, Canada.

 

The resort's tiny wooden tram car

The resort’s tiny wooden tram car

Each one is a canvas for Bensley’s wonderfully far-reaching imagination, designed to represent a make-believe train journey to a real destination.

My ‘Heritage Railcar Pool Villa’ revolves around an odyssey to Cambodia, manifesting in richly patterned ceilings, golden bathroom fixtures and an angular headboard shaped like the towers of Angkor Wat.

Inside this opulent compartment, I can kid myself into thinking I’m rattling along on a supremely luxurious train journey.

Stepping outside brings me back to my stationary reality; on my patio, a pool and curtained outdoor tub fixedly overlook some of the 30,000-plus trees on site.

Khao Yai National Park, Thailand’s oldest national park, lies a short distance away.

A neighbouring carriage holds the ‘Back On Track’ spa. ‘A new experience… a spa on a train!’ my massage therapist Pim warmly announces ahead of my treatment. 

Nearby train cars hold a kids’ club, an afternoon tea venue and a sultry cocktail bar, each a playful study of period glamour.

Parallels with the Orient Express are addressed at the moodily-lit brasserie restaurant ‘Poirot’, named after the star detective from Agatha Christie’s 1934 best-seller Murder on the Orient Express. 

Murder mystery parties are often hosted here, I learn over an elegant meal of mushroom-truffle tart and Chenin blanc wine from the nearby GranMonte vineyard.

Breakfast the next morning is had at Somying’s Kitchen. 

Though the restaurant specialises in Thai cuisine, it’s pure Americana in design, imitating an old-time diner with baby blue leatherette booths and vintage posters advertising the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Before I leave, I enquire about taking a spin on the resort’s tiny wooden train car, which volleys along a 500m (1,640ft) track line. 

Each carriage is designed to represent a make-believe train journey to a real destination

Each carriage is designed to represent a make-believe train journey to a real destination

A Bunk Bed Premium Lake Vie room at IHG Khao Yai Resort

A Bunk Bed Premium Lake Vie room at IHG Khao Yai Resort

I’m told I must pick up a ticket for it at ‘Khao Yai Station’. Of course! 

The slip I’m handed reads: ‘Khao Yai to Bangkok, special express, first class.’

These replicas of genuine Thai train tickets were the idea of Resort Manager Danuphol Thawachoo. 

He tells me they’re a reminder of his childhood, when his family would travel from southern Thailand to Bangkok by train.

Nostalgia has a home here. 

Through a winning blend of retro whimsy and good, old-fashioned luxury, the resort manufactures a fantasy of Thai railway history. 

A stay here is an express line to a bygone era.

Named after the star detective from Agatha Christie¿s 1934 best-seller Murder on the Orient Express, the Poirot bar, above, hosts murder mystery parties

Named after the star detective from Agatha Christie’s 1934 best-seller Murder on the Orient Express, the Poirot bar, above, hosts murder mystery parties

Parallels with the Orient Express are addressed at the brasserie restaurant 'Poirot', seen above

A bird's eye view of InterContinental Khao Yai and some of its 30,000 trees

LEFT: Parallels with the Orient Express are addressed at the brasserie restaurant ‘Poirot’. RIGHT: A bird’s eye view of InterContinental Khao Yai and some of its 30,000 trees

Breakfast in the morning is had at Somying's Kitchen, above

Breakfast in the morning is had at Somying’s Kitchen, above

TRAVEL FACTS 

Ailbhe was hosted by InterContinental Khao Yai Resort. Standard rooms are priced from THB10,730 (£229/$290) per night (including breakfast), plus service charge and taxes. Railway suites are priced from THB16,650 (£356/$450) per night. Visit khaoyai.intercontinental.com.

Pros: The innovative upcycling and storybook interior design – everywhere you look you discover fabulous little design details. Secret-garden-style landscaping, genuinely warm staff and an excellent selection of food and drinks complete the picture.

Cons: Though it’s the area’s main attraction, the Khao Yai National Park is tricky to access from the hotel, unless you have a car. It’s best to visit it as part of a tour, which the hotel can organise.

Rating out of five: *****

Want to arrive at the airport in style? Then book a Blacklane chauffeur

Blacklane chauffeurs are extremely courteous, drive carefully and will transport you in a luxury car. The drivers, all trained at the Blacklane Chauffeur Academy, will always provide bottled water, Wi-Fi, and a multi-charger cable.

The ‘First Class’ service allows clients to travel in ‘true luxury’, with a fleet of vehicles including the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 or EVs such as the Mercedes-Benz EQS. Chauffeurs will wait up to one hour to allow for delays, and clients can cancel their ride up to one hour before their booking time. Visit www.blacklane.com/en.

Travel by train

The nearest train station is Pak Chong station, a 45-minute drive away. Trains between Pak Chong and Bangkok run multiple times a day.

For more on the national park – www.tourismthailand.org/Attraction/khao-yai-national-park. 

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At least 40 Haitian migrants killed in boat fire, says IOM

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Dozens of Haitian migrants died at sea on Wednesday after their boat caught fire, the International Organization for Migration said Friday. More than forty migrants survived and are receiving care provided by the UN agency, whose Haiti chief said that extreme gang violence has pushed people in the country to take “desperate measures” to flee.

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Two dead and 28 sick from sliced deli meat contaminated with deadly bacteria

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A listeria outbreak linked to sliced deli meats has killed two people and sickened more than two dozen others. 

The CDC announced Friday that 28 people across 12 states had seen sickened by the bacteria listeria, which has been linked to sliced deli meats, and two have died. 

The health agency is warning people to not eat meats bought at deli counters unless they are reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit – a temperature high enough to kill the bacteria. 

Keeping the meats cold does not eliminate listeria.  

CDC investigators are still collecting information on the outbreak in order to determine the exact sources of the listeria.  

More than two dozen people across 12 states have seen sickened by the bacteria listeria, which has been linked to sliced deli meats

More than two dozen people across 12 states have seen sickened by the bacteria listeria, which has been linked to sliced deli meats

The CDC said: ‘Many people in this outbreak are reporting eating meats that they had sliced at deli counters.’

For vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, people with weakened immune systems or pregnant women, the CDC advises taking extra precautions and avoiding deli meats unless they have been properly reheated. 

These people should also clean all surfaces and containers that may have come into contact with sliced deli meats. 

The CDC did not reveal where the outbreak had hit, what specific products were affected or how many people had been hospitalized. 

The announcement comes one day after it was revealed two people died and 10 were sickened in Canada by listeria in almond milk and other dairy-free alternatives.

Nine of those people were hospitalized and most of the cases were in Ontario. 

They had consumed either the Silk-branded oat, almond, cashew or coconut milk alternatives 

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that can cause listeriosis, a bacterial infection that can lead to severe illness and death. 

Warning signs of an infection with listeria include nausea, cramps, diarrhea and constipation — which generally emerge within hours to three days of consuming contaminated food.

More than 90 percent of patients are hospitalized, the FDA says.

In severe cases, the bacteria can spread to the nervous system and cause meningitis — inflammation of the fluid surrounding the brain — and sepsis.

Both can prove fatal.

Those with weakened immune systems and people older than 60 are at particularly high risk from the infection, officials say.

Pregnant women are also at higher risk of suffering a miscarriage if they contract listeria because the bacteria can spread to the fetus.

Approximately 1,600 people are infected with listeria in the US every year, estimates suggest, while about 260 people die.

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