Seven songs about trains

For when you missed the last one or just miss them in general

Trains are so romanticised in music but rarely in real life. In song, they spirit away broken-hearted lovers or they represent imminent change, freedom or adventure. What they don’t do is break down right at that point between London Bridge and Blackfriars where there’s no mobile signal. Or go on strike… except maybe in Billy Bragg songs. 

Here are our favourite songs about trains…

‘Runaway Train’ – Soul Asylum

“Runaway train never coming back” sounds better than “Runaway train coming back when service resumes in two days following industrial action”. In reality, Soul Asylum’s alt-rock classic played a role in tracking down 26 missing children featured in its video. What did you do, Spin Doctors?

Train In Vain’ – The Clash

More like “Trying in vain to catch a train”, what? One of the best songs on one of the best albums of all time deserves better than being shoehorned into a bad pun about train strikes but this is what we’ve reduced ourselves to here.

Last Train To Clarksville’ – The Monkees

Services to Clarksville are seriously disrupted due to industrial action. Passengers are advised to change at Nowheresville and await non-existent rail replacement buses. 

Midnight Train To Georgia’ – Gladys Knight & The Pips

Passengers awaiting the midnight train to Georgia, please be advised that this service has been cancelled due to an existential crisis. Your next service is the 05:56am train to Georgia. Get comfortable and contemplate the mistakes that brought you here.

Driver 8′ – R.E.M.

If Driver 8 was driving the midnight train to Georgia (R.E.M.’s home state) that would explain why he’s so tired. Understaffing is obviously a universal issue on train networks.

The Train’ – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

You walk to the station, you say a tearful goodbye, promising each other that it’s going to be ok, it’s not that long, but inside both your hearts are breaking. Finally you pull yourself away, take one last look back and… “No service today owing to industrial action”. There’s a reason nobody writes break-up songs set on rail replacement buses.

Last Train Home’ – Blink 182

Owing to a reduced service, the last train home is now 4:17pm. Currently, standing room is available in the toilets or nestled in someone’s armpit. This train is formed of unbridled rage.