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67 Songs About Trains

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Whether you prefer steam engines, diesel, or electric trains, celebrate the glory of locomotives and cabooses, freight trains, baggage cars, and the railway with a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs about trains.

Whether you prefer steam engines, diesel, or electric trains, celebrate the glory of locomotives and cabooses, freight trains, baggage cars, and the railway with a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs about trains.

The Magic of Trains

When my daughter was a toddler, she and I spent spare time around abandoned trains. She loved climbing on the caboose and peering inside. She looked up with doe-eyed wonder at the black steel of the old locomotive that felt cool to the touch. We played guessing games about what the freight cars had once carried. She was so obsessed with trains for several months that we traveled about town searching for railroad crossings, hoping to spot a moving train.

Eventually, she moved on in her interests, and the old trains moved on to a museum. They still hold a special place in both of our hearts. If you enjoy trains as much as I do, why not celebrate them by making a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs about them? We have a long list to start you out.

1. "Long Black Train" by Josh Turner

In this 2003 country song, the narrator cautions the listener not to be fooled by the beautiful, long black train that feeds off the souls of sinners. You may wonder what it's like to climb aboard, but that train is a funeral train. It's a metaphor for being tempted by the devil, who is its engineer. The narrator encourages you to turn away from the train and look for protection from the heavens above.

2. "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum

If you've ever experienced deep depression, then this rock power ballad from 1992 will resonate. It describes the protagonist's hopelessness and his inability to sleep. He is plagued by feelings of emptiness and a sense of being lost and alone.

Feeling out of control, the narrator compares his fragile mental health to buying a one-way ticket for a runaway train that is barreling the wrong way down a one-way track. Disaster looms. The song was an international hit and won a Grammy Award.

3. "Love Train" by The O'Jays

Oh, if only we could have more love in the world like they're calling for in this 1972 R&B song! This chart-topper entered the Top 40 the day that the Paris Peace Accords were signed (a peace treaty officially ending the Vietnam War). The song encourages people from all over the world—including Russia, China, Egypt, Israel, Africa—to join hands in love.

4. "Stop This Train" by John Mayer

This rock song from 2006 is a touching, emotionally-charged realization by an adult son that he is growing older and so are his parents. Sadly, one day he will inevitably be without them, and he mourns for the safety and comfort of youth. The train they're traveling on is much too fast:

Don't know how else to say it
I don't want to see my parents go
One generation's length away
From fighting life out on my own.
Stop this train
I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in.

Unfortunately, you can't stop this train, but you can cope with the notion of getting older.

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5. "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne

This heavy metal classic from 1980 depicts the world in chaos. It's a world full of conflict and mental wounds in which the narrator feels like he's going off the rails of a crazy train. What an appropriate analogy to describe the hodgepodge of preachers, media, failures, leaders, and fools who try to one-up each other in a battle for power and control. The narrator feels mentally numb and out of control like he's headed for a train wreck.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers, American actor

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers, American actor

6. "Downtown Train" by Rod Stewart

I never realized how creepy this song is. The 1989 rock song chronicles an infatuated man who is so wrapped up in his crush that each night he follows the woman from the downtown train station to her apartment. (Stalker alert.) The stranger waits for her on the train, follows her home, and lingers outside, apparently unnoticed.

7. "Night Train" by Jason Aldean

The good ole' country boy in this 2012 tune has some romantic plans for his honey. At sundown, he wants to pick her up and head on over to the outskirts of town with a blanket and a little booze. There, they'll watch the stars and listen for the night train. He imagines the sound of steel and old box cars in the near distance as they gaze up at the heavens. Sounds like the perfect romantic rendezvous.

8. "Peace Train" by 10,000 Maniacs

This is a train we can all board. The woman in this 1993 rock song smiles at the thought of peace and unity sweeping the nation. She fully believes that something good has begun. She encourages others to stop hating one another and jump on the peace train that will take us all home again. Won't you climb on board?

9. "Baby Likes to Rock It" by The Tractors

This fella's sexy baby likes to rock it like a boogie woogie choo-choo train. He takes her dancing on the outskirts of town where the music is rocking and the crowd is dancing and screaming for more. Choo-choo! I challenge you not to tap your toes to this 1994 country ditty.

10. "Driver 8" by R.E.M.

Train accidents are extremely rare events but can cause catastrophic damage, extensive injuries, and loss of life. This 1985 rock song is a haunting one, with the train conductor cautioning the weary driver to take a much-needed break. They have a ways to go but can still reach their destination. He doesn't seem to be heeding the warning, however.

11. "C'Mon 'N Ride It (The Train)" by Quad City Dj's

This number one dance song from 1996 will get you up on your feet. The contagious song samples Barry White music from two decades earlier and often prompts people to form a congo line or other line-style formation that resembles a train:

If you feel like dancing, well, come on, it's up to you
We got the sound to keep you getting down, down
The train is coming through.

12. "Fast Movin' Train" by Restless Heart

This man knows he's headed for a heartache. He feels like he's been hit been a fast movin' train.

The guy in this 1990 country song describes sleeping with a woman who had a long list of lovers. She had a bad reputation, a heart of stone, and was known to be manipulative. He didn't want to be like all the others, but she broke down his resistance, and afterward, he was smitten. He was another man run over by a fast movin' train.

13. "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight & The Pips

Sometimes we chase dreams and they don't work out. That's what happened in this 1973 R&B song. A man leaves L.A. when his failed dreams prove to be too much for him, returning home to Georgia on a midnight train. With his dreams of stardom having fallen short, he seeks the comforts of a simpler place and time. The woman who loves him is following him home: "I'd rather live in his world than be without him in mine."

14. "I Play Chicken with the Train" by Cowboy Troy (featuring Big & Rich)

Only the foolhardy play chicken with a train, but this 2005 hickhop song brags about it. Playing chicken means you're trying to show how brave you are by standing on the train tracks and jumping out of the way just in the nick of time as the train approaches.

Even worse, the guy in this song seems to be drinking ("chug-a-lugga, chug-a-lugga, chug-a-lugga") too. Totally not smart.

15. "Like Desperados Waiting for a Train" by The Highwaymen

This classic country song from 1985 describes a friendship between a young man and a much older one whom he idolizes. They are like desperados waiting for a train in that the old man used to live an adventurous life as an oil driller and drifter, and at least in the young man's mind, the excitement could start again at a moment's notice. (It never truly does, however.)

The younger man seems to live vicariously through the old man's stories and life advice. Years go by, and the young man realizes that his role model with his tobacco stains down his chin is really just a "has been" with stories like all the other old men. They are two desperados waiting on a train that has passed them both by.

16. "People Get Ready" by The Impressions

According to this gospel-infused 1965 song, trouble and strife are no match for faith. The narrator encourages listeners to keep the faith and get on board the salvation train which is picking up passengers.

People get ready, there's a train a comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith, to hear the diesels hummin'
Don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord.

Rolling Stone magazine named the R&B song one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

In the arts or in dreams, trains can symbolize progress or perseverance or a journey (often spiritual).

In the arts or in dreams, trains can symbolize progress or perseverance or a journey (often spiritual).

17. "Shut Up Train" by Little Big Town

The woman in this 2010 country song has a heartache and can't sleep for the sound of the nearby train. When the front door shakes or she hears the train's breaks or whistle, she's reminded of how brokenhearted she feels. It's as if the cold, black steel has crushed her heart, while the whistle reminds her of her sorrowful wailing. No wonder she wants the train to stop the noise!

18. "Casey Jones" by The Grateful Dead

This 1970 rock ditty gives a nod to folk hero Casey Jones, a railway engineer who in 1900 didn't see a stalled freight train on the tracks in front of him as he sped through the fog. To save the lives of his passengers, he dutifully stayed his post and applied the emergency brakes. Casey Jones' heroic actions saved every life on board except his own. His dead body was found lying under the train cab. The Grateful Dead's reference to Casey Jones being high on cocaine is utterly fictional.

19. "Runaway Train" by Drive-by Truckers

There's a dangerous dynamic between this man and his lady in this 2015 Southern rock song. The love between them is not just gone, it's turned toxic.

Now, they've both boarded a figurative runaway train on a one-way ride, bound for deadly disaster. He can't stand the sound of her voice or the feel of her touch. Unless fate intervenes, the results promise to be deadly for them both.

Mass of twisted metal, broken bodies, broken glass,
broken engine, broken hearts, final overdrive,
broken people all around, broken train, broken lives.

20. "My Baby Thinks He's a Train" by Rosann Cash

I've always thought this 1990 country song was just plain odd, but what the narrator is trying to say is her dude takes advantage of her (only because she allows it to happen). He makes a short stopover at her place to get some lovin' then leaves her lonely, like a train pulling out of the station whether she's ready for him to go or not.

The poor gal complains that Mr. Choo-Choo drags her around like an old caboose (again, she's a willing participant). He also burns up money like trains burn up coal and he's is all too willing to give some tramp a ride. Someone tell her not to let him punch her train ticket anymore.

"Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him." - Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States

"Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him." - Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States

Even More Songs About Trains

Know a song about trains that should be on this playlist? Make a suggestion in the Comments Section below.

SongArtistYear Released

21. Folsom Prison Blues

Johnny Cash


22. Downbound Train

Bruce Springsteen


23. Train To Nowhere

Eric Clapton


24. Last Train to Clarksville

The Monkees


25. Freight Train

Alan Jackson


26. The Chattanooga Choo-Choo

The Andrews Sisters


27. Zion Train

Bob Marley & The Wailers


28. Last Train Home



29. This Train Is Bound for Glory

Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash


30. This Train

Randy Travis


31. Ride the Train



32. Locomotive Breath

Jethro Hull


33. Train Kept A Rollin'



34. Mystery Train Kept A Rollin'

Stray Cats


35. Long Train Runnin'

The Doobie Brothers


36. Friendship Train

The Temptations


37. Train

3 Doors Down


38. Hurt Train

Brooks & Dunn


39. Mystery Train

Elvis Presley


40. Fool For a Lonesome Train

Ben Harper


41. The Train Song

Deana Carter


42. Here Comes The Freedom Train

Merle Haggard


43. The Train Is Coming



44. Train #10

Tim McGraw


45. Hellbound Train

Lita Ford


46. Homebound Train

Bon Jovi


47. Love Train

Big & Rich


48. Southbound Train

Travis Tritt


49. Runaway Train

Rosann Cash


50. Santa's Got a Choo-Choo Train

Blake Shelton


51. Train of Consequences



52. Wabash Cannonball

Johnny Cash


53. Catch Your Train



54. Train In The Distance

Don Henley


55. I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train

Billy Joe Shaver


56. Morning Train

Sheena Easton


57. City of New Orleans

Willie Nelson


58. One Way Ticket to the Blues



59. One Toke Over the Line

Brewer & Shipley


60. Trainwreck of Emotion

Lorrie Morgan


61. Wreck of Old '97

Johnny Cash


62. Nightrain

Guns N' Roses


63. Can't You See

The Marshall Tucker Band


64. Daddy Loved Trains

Keith Whitley


65. Morningtown Ride

The Seekers


66. Tucson Train

Bruce Springsteen


67. Midnight Train

Sam Smith


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 FlourishAnyway


FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on April 04, 2020:

Peggy - She probably doesn't remember climbing on and playing around those trains but I sure do. They were a highlight of our outings but she was quite young at the time.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 03, 2020:

It is interesting that the old trains you and your toddler daughter explored made it into a museum setting. I am not surprised that so many songs have been written about trains. While there are no longer as many as there used to be, they still hold an allure for many people.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 19, 2019:

Christopher Nowak - Thank you for the suggestion.

Christopher Nowak on December 19, 2019:

TAKE THE A TRAIN???!!! (Duke Ellington).

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 08, 2019:

Bob - Thanks for the addition. Have a great weekend.

Robert Sacchi on September 07, 2019:

Consider Morningtown Ride" by The Seekers.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 21, 2019:

Anonymous - That's not familiar to me, but if a reader knows I hope they'll leave a comment.

Anonymous on August 21, 2019:

Song about workers with a tent on rr tracks"?"

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on April 06, 2019:

Anonymous - Although I'm unfamiliar with the song you are searching for, I'm hoping a reader may recognize it and leave a comment.

Anonymous on April 06, 2019:

A friend played a record for me back in the late 80's or early 90's. I had "train" in the title, but I have never been able to remember it. I think it was something like "the 10:15 train" or something like that....the song was one of those extended long playing songs and it was all electronic/instrumental music, there were no lyrics that I can recall. Been trying to find this song/artist for many years, and have yet to come across anything resembling it. Would you have any idea?

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 07, 2019:

Varmint Tracks - Thank you for the suggestion. I've added the song at #63. Have a great day!

Varmint Tracks on February 06, 2019:

Can't You See by The Marshall Tucker Band should be considered for the train list. It's good tune 'bout trains from the start to the end of the song.

Robert Sacchi on June 27, 2018:

Glad for the opportunity to share. Thank you.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 27, 2018:

Bob - Thank you for the song suggestion. I added Johnny Cash's cover of it as #61.

Robert Sacchi on June 26, 2018:

Thanks for yet another trip down memory lane. You may want to consider The Wreck of Old 97. The Kingston Trio used the tune for song M.T.A., about a fare increase.

Leland Johnson from Midland MI on May 23, 2018:

You know that title may have been locked in the archive because I think I thought of it after I commented. Thanks for the correction:)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 23, 2018:

Leland - "Mystery Train" is the title (although "train I ride" are prominent lyrics so I can see the confusion). Thanks so much for the suggestion!

Leland Johnson from Midland MI on May 23, 2018:

Flourish- I just remembered a train song: "Train I Ride" sang by Elvis. Was that one on your list?

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 23, 2018:

Shauna - I'm sorry to hear about the panic attacks and hope you have a good train ride to see your family. Cat Stevens (later named Yusuf Islam) wrote and originally sang the song. I just happened to like the cover version by 10,000 Maniacs. Apparently, after he made some public comments that some interpreted as calling for the death of writer Salman Rushdie, their version of the song all but vanished. It's still pretty awesome though.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 23, 2018:

Flourish, I'll actually be hopping aboard a train this 4th of July week to visit my family in South Florida. I can no longer drive the highways without succumbing to panic attacks, so I take the train.

I didn't know 10,000 Maniacs did "Peace Train". I know (and love) the Cat Stevens version. It's his song, isn't it?

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 23, 2018:

Natalie - Toot! Toot! Sounds great!

Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on May 22, 2018:

Sounds good! I don't even care where we go! See you there.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 22, 2018:

Natalie - Thanks so much! I'll join you on the train trip. It'll be a real hoot, I promise!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 22, 2018:

Bill - Oftentimes, one song will spark another idea for a playlist. Glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful week!

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on May 22, 2018:

Another great list Flourish. I see my “Midnight Train to Georgia” made another list, still one of my favorites. It always amazes me how many songs you find with each theme. Great job.

Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on May 22, 2018:

I love your song list articles! They are always so imaginative and creative. I'll never know how you collect so many songs on a single topic. Trains are a favorite of mine - this list makes me want to go on a train trip!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 22, 2018:

Audrey - Thank you so much for the kind kudos and for stopping by. The articles are both fun and a challenge to create. I'm glad readers like you enjoy them. Have a wonderful week!

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on May 21, 2018:

How I love your hubs, Flourish. Your mind is filled with creativity. You never seem to run out of ideas for songs. Your articles bring so much pleasure to others. Thanks, my friend.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 21, 2018:

Heidi - I had fun reviewing that Petticoat Junction theme on YouTube. It's been a long, long time since I've heard that!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 21, 2018:

Mary - The hunt and the memory jog is so much fun. Often one playlist will inspire several more and I have several operating at the same time. Glad these struck a chord with you. Have a wonderful week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 21, 2018:

Frances - Now THAT is commitment unlike I've ever encountered! Glad you enjoyed the train playlist and found many familiar. Have a wonderful week!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 21, 2018:

Flourish, these are terrific songs about trains. I love trains and love being in them. I think our train has finally stopped and it wants to rest. It's amazing how you find these songs.

Frances Metcalfe from The Limousin, France on May 21, 2018:

My brother-in-law and nephew are train mad, ticking off the numbers they've spotted in their notebooks. Train travel in France is immeasurably better in France than it was in the UK. Great playlist. I know quite a lot of them, which is a surprise for me, but the reprises are really useful as I find hearing the words difficult.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 21, 2018:

Dora - Back when my daughter was gaga over trains, we had soooo many train books, many of them with little text and heavy on photos. She was utterly mesmerized. I totally understand where your grandson is coming from. Wish you were a neighbor. I'd pass those books on.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 21, 2018:

Linda - I love geography and the names of places in particular. I've lived in some places with odd names. I suppose that probably fuels my interest. Glad you enjoy the extra elements even though you aren't always familiar with the songs themselves. Have a wonderful week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 21, 2018:

Patricia - Glad to see you back on HP. Hope you write more soon. Thanks for sharing your memories.

Suhail a on May 21, 2018:

Thank you for adding the song, FlourishAnyway!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 21, 2018:

My grandson will love this even if he could only enjoy the pictures of the trains and the tracks, but for me, all of it is great. Thank you.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 21, 2018:

I always enjoy reading your song descriptions even when I'm not familiar with the songs myself. The maps are always interesting as well. The map in this article has taught me something that's relevant to my life. I quite often drive through the Squamish region, but I've never heard of Locomotive Mountain before. Thanks for sharing the information, Flourish.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on May 21, 2018:

Love "Love Train!" What's interesting is that there aren't any songs by the band Train. :)