In the beginning of "Emergence" (Star Trek The Next Generation's season 7) Data is relaying some information about the Orient Express train to captain Picard. Data is clearing reading that information out of a holodeck computer's screen.

How it is possible that Data does not already possess this kind of information? We have so many examples, during the entire show, of enormous the database Data has about even the strangest things or very distant (both in time and distance) civilizations. How then can he lack such information?

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    He can’t know everything. Therefore, some things he does not know. Turns out an old earth train is one of them. May 6, 2015 at 8:41
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    Of course, there is this counter-argument. May 6, 2015 at 8:44
  • It does seem unlikely he wouldn't know of it considering the number of works that refer to it, are based on it, or are compared to it.
    – Joe L.
    May 6, 2015 at 12:29
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    orient express is kinda un-important, compared to the stuff he has been shown to know, i believe typically its earths military history, faction history, major world events. the orient express has almost no Bering on humanities space ventures.
    – Himarm
    May 6, 2015 at 13:04

1 Answer 1


Although the history of The Orient Express is often referred to in literature of the time, it would be a rather obscure piece of history for someone in the 24th Century.

The Orient Express was a train service created in 1883. It's primary routes took it from Paris, France to destinations throughout Eastern Europe including Italy, Greece, and Turkey. The service ran for over 100 years, finally closing down in 2009. However, the train began seeing limited use by 1962 when other forms of travel (primarily airplanes) began replacing trains as the primary mode of long-distance travel. In 1977, the service stopped its route to Istanbul, Turkey - by far the most widely-known destination for the train.

The legacy of The Orient Express will always be its mention in various examples of literature and film. If Data were to know of The Orient Express, it would most likely be from one of these sources. However, that knowledge would most likely be of a cursory nature, and like any human, Data would need to look up the details.

The most famous/widely-known references to The Orient Express would be in the following:

Although the train has been featured in several lesser-known works, it is largely from these three sources that The Orient Express became a part of modern society's collective knowledge. In 300 years, however, the train would be ancient history to most people. Data, being a lover of the arts, would most likely know the name and purpose of the train, but probably would not have any further knowledge of the train service off the top of his head (so to speak).


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