IF taking the train is part of your everyday commute, it is probably another mundane task to get through. However, films often use it to create memorable moments.
A simple train ride can be a heart-thumping experience in an action film, or a romantic encounter when meeting a random stranger in the confines of a train car.
With a host of possibilities, here are some of our favourite movies that use trains to move the plot forward.
Romantic film Before Sunrise (1995) begins with a chance meeting between Jesse and Celine on a train, who connect emotionally over a short conversation.
It is enough for Jesse to suggest at the last minute for her to disembark with him in Vienna. From there, they spend their time together wandering from place to place talking about life and love. When it is time for Jesse to take his flight back, their connection makes it harder for them to part.
Step in for a magical journey with The Polar Express (2004). Here, the unnamed hero boy doubts the existence of Santa Claus until an astonishing event — he is invited aboard a steam engine train where he will arrive at North Pole.
Of course, this is no ordinary ride as it takes him through tunnels and across frozen, glacial lakes. He also makes friends with the other children who help get rid of his doubts.
Naive American man Roy and his wife who is haunted by her past as a bad girl decide to travel to Russia after a volunteer stint. Called Transsiberian (2008), it features the famous Trans-Siberia Express.
The journey becomes a thrilling chase of deception and murder when drugs are found in her bag after it was being planted by cabin companions Carlos and Abby. To make matters worse, Roy befriended narcotics officer Grinko who happens to be on board.
On a train in India called The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Peter Whitman reunites with his brothers Francis and Jack. They have not seen each other since their father’s funeral a year prior and this meeting is also to visit their mother who did not turn up during the funeral.
Throughout the movie, viewers learn that the train does not only serve as a mode of transportation. It is used as a journey of self-discovery and reconciliation as the brothers experience animosity between them.
Four criminals led by Ryder hijack a subway train in The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009). He then called the subway control centre resulting in the operator Walter Garber talking to him.
That turns an ordinary day’s work into a face-off with the mastermind as the criminals demand ransom. Soon, Garber learns that this is just a scheme to manipulate stock markets as news of the hostage situation sends it tumbling down. Now, the motive is blurred and Garber is still caught in between.
This week, catch The Girl on the Train based on the best-selling novel of the same title, which follows the story of Rachel Watson. She takes the train to work every day fantasising about a young couple living down the street from her ex-husband.
One day, she sees something shocking and is filled with rage, but she is unable to remember anything the next morning. Yet, she finds herself entangled in a mystery that promises to forever alter the lives of everyone involved.