The dot-brand .orientexpress has derailed. That’s a train pun, expect more.
The gTLD operator has become the latest to signal (like a railway signal) to ICANN that it no longer wishes to run its dot-brand, this week asking for a contract cancellation (like a train cancellation).
Despite having left the station (like a train station) in February 2015, it only ever registered its mandatory nic.orientexpress domain, and that doesn’t even resolve any more, according to DI PRO tracking (like a train track).
While the Orient Express brand is familiar to many due to the famous Agatha Christie murder mystery novel, it’s been applied to multiple train companies and journeys over the years.
The gTLD was originally applied for, unopposed, in 2012 by Orient-Express Hotels. However, that company renamed itself to Belmond in 2014.
Belmond still runs a luxury train route bearing the Orient Express name, but apparently its devotion to the brand has run out of steam (like a steam train) and its gTLD was no longer just the ticket (like a train ticket).
It’s the 20th dot-brand to change its mind about owning a gTLD after its ICANN Registry Agreement was already signed.
According to DI PRO stats, almost 100 dot-brands are actively using their domains currently, so it’s not as if the concept has been a complete train wreck (like a train train wreck).