Before World War II, the Orient Express was a symbol of comfort and luxury. It had sleeping cars with permanent service and restaurant cars known for the quality of their cuisine. Royalty, nobles, diplomats, businesspeople and the bourgeoisie in general patronized it.
The last "real" Orient Express with special coaches went on its way in 1977. Later there was an ordinary train with this name from Paris to Budapest. It still runs from Paris to Vienna although this is hardly the "orient".
The action of Agatha Christie's novel Murder on the Orient Express is set on the Simplon Orient Express. There is also a 2000 movie, Death, Deceit and Destiny Aboard the Orient Express.