| Quote #1
It was five o'clock on a winter's morning in Syria. Alongside the platform at Aleppo stood the train grandly designated in railway guides as the Taurus Express. It consisted of a kitchen and dining car, a sleeping car and two local coaches. (1.1.1)
The first line of the novel announces the setting: the thoroughly modern luxury train. We're not in a country house or an old castle. This plot depends on trains, the most comfortable and fastest way to travel at the time.
| Quote #2
"The train is due in at 6:55 and one has to cross the Bosporus and catch the Simplon Orient Express the other side at nine o'clock. If there is an hour or two of delay we shall miss the connection." (1.1.102)
A lot of the tension in the plot revolves around the train's schedule – more specifically, that it might not reach its destination on time. Here, Mary expresses impatience.
| Quote #3
There were three waiting for him and a telegram. His eyebrows rose a little at the sight of the telegram. It was unexpected. (1.2.2)
The telegram, a newer and more immediate form of communication than the standard mail (though certainly not brand-new by the time this book is set), calls Poirot back to London.