Remember the train in Dr. Zhivago? Cold, dark, threatening. How different than our nostalgic view especially reflected in popular music. I am starting a playlist with trains as the theme.
(any thoughts as to Classical's seemingly empty references?)
My first five...please augment.
It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It takes a Train to Cry.
Garfield and Scaggs version.
China Cat Sunflower  Europe 72
The City of New Orleans Arlo Guthrie
Rose of Cimarron Poco
Take the A Train Duke Ellington (Any version suggestions?)


From the 1950’s:

Howlin’ Wolf: "Smokestack Lightning". Done by many others, not anywhere as wickedly.

Elvis, Scotty, and Bill: "Mystery Train". The Band do a good version on their Moon Dog Matinee album.

The (Johnny Burnette) Rock ’n’ Roll Trio: "Train Kept A-Rollin’" (written by Tiny Bradshaw). Done by a lot of others (the first version I heard was that by The Yardbirds, Jeff Beck on guitar), but not anywhere near as hot. Aerosmith’s version sucks.

The Rock ’n’ Roll Trio: "Lonesome Train (On A Lonesome Track)". Johnny Burnette was a better Rockabilly singer than Elvis imo.

Johnny Cash: "Hey Porter" and "I Walk The Line".

Louis Jordan: "Choo Choo Ch’Boogie". Audiences love to dance to this cool Jump Blues tune. Done by many others, Asleep At The Wheel’s version a good one.

Early 1960’s: Little Eva: "The Loco-Motion" (written by Carole King & Gerry Goffin). Grand Funk Railroad’s version sucks.

Paul Revere & The Raiders: "Night Train". Done by a LOT of people, theirs being the first I heard. For the ultimate Garage version, listen to that by The Sonics. Makes The Ramones sound mellow.

Late 1960’s onward:

The Kinks: "Last Of The Steam Powered Trains", on their fantastic The Village Green Preservation Society album.

Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks: "Waiting On The 103".

Taj Mahal: "She Caught The Katy".

The Band: "Just Another Whistle Stop". Phil Lesh does a version, haven’t heard it.

Dylan: "Slow Train".

Guy Clark: "Desperados Waiting For A Train".

Crazy Horse: "Gone Dead Train".

Bill Frisell: "Gone, Just Like A Train".

California Zephyr - Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar
City Of New Orleans - Steve Goodman (who wrote it)
Peace Train - Cat Stevens
Just Like This Train - Joni Mitchell
Train In The Distance - Paul Simon