Runaway Train (1985)

R   |    |  Action, Adventure, Drama

Runaway Train (1985) Poster

Two escaped convicts and a female railway worker find themselves trapped on a train with no brakes and nobody driving.




  • Rebecca De Mornay in Runaway Train (1985)
  • Runaway Train (1985)
  • Eric Roberts in Runaway Train (1985)
  • Jon Voight in Runaway Train (1985)
  • Rebecca De Mornay and Randy Quaid at an event for Fool for Love (1985)
  • Andrey Konchalovskiy in Runaway Train (1985)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

4 May 2002 | andyhise
| Simply magnificent - and that perfect ending too ...

Has Jon Voight ever been better? No. Or Eric Roberts? No. And have you ever seen a more perfect, perfect ending ...?


Runaway Train's scene is set in a rather average prison sequence. But as soon as the guys break out, the fun begins - Eric Roberts' accent, the incredible feeling of cold, Manny's animal-like grunting (I think he was laughing) - and the pumping, spot-on soundtrack, raising goose-bumps beautifully as the train majestically appears through a thick flurry of snow like a ghost ...

One scene - Jon Voight's ".. and you gonna RUB that little biddy spot ..." monologue - is right out of the top drawer. And the rest is as efficient and nerve-shredding as you could ever want. Action (train crashes!!), blood (fingers!!), surprises, satisfying revenge - and an ending that, I'm sorry but I've got to go on about it a bit, is just simply breathtaking.

How I wanted the movie to end on that final shot, and how wonderful that it did, with the choir and everything. Superb - a gem. Just a gem. And what a surprise - from the marketing, the hype, even the video and DVD sleeve, you couldn't pick this out from 1000 other bottom shelf dwellers in the video shop. Just give yourself a treat and watch it.

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Did You Know?


The runaway train's line-up consisted of four Alaska Railroad locomotives, all built by EMD. In order, GP40-2 #3010 (built 4/1976), F7 #1500 (built 12/1952), GP7 #1801 and #1810 (built 8/1951). The latter two locomotives had previously been rebuilt by ARR with low short hoods as opposed to a GP7's original high short hood, but were fitted with mock-up high hoods made of plywood for the film, branded with fictional numbers 531 and 812, respectively. Because #1801's cab had been reconstructed prior to filming, the '531' prosthetic hood stood slightly higher than the normal hood height of a GP7 in order to fit over the locomotive's number-board. As of 2017, #3010 is still active on the Alaska Railroad's roster, #1500 is in the Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry, #1810 is working for the Archer Daniels Midland Company in Dodge City, Kansas as SFGX #1810 and #1801 is in service with the Respondek Railroad Corp. as RRC #1800. The yard shots were made on the BA&P Railway in Montana using local locomotives: GP38-2 #109 (later sold to the Alaska Railroad and still in service as ARR #2001), F9 #7012A rented from the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad, GP7 #103 and GP9 #104.


Sara: Hold me. I don't want to die alone.
Buck: We gonna be all right.
Sara: Yeah.
Buck: We gonna be fine.
Manny: Ha,ha. We all die alone.


Following the collision with the freight train, a long shot shows the runaway passing as debris rains down on and around it. As the third locomotive passes, a truck from the caboose bounces off the top, then bounces off the cab of the fourth locomotive without causing any damage. Such collision would have ripped open the cab of the fourth locomotive. The crash was filmed using scale models, which didn't sustain damage the way real locomotives would have.

Alternate Versions

The DVD mysteriously edits out the shot of the first helicopter policeman being run over by the wheels of the train. You see him crash into the train windshield and see him fall off, but then you see just a plain shot of the wheels. In all other versions of the film on video and laserdisc have a shot of this man's face coming right at the camera as his body is run over by the wheels of the train. Even the US TV version has a brief shot of this. This shot is present in the UK Arrow Films DVD release.


Gloria in D Major
Antonio Vivaldi (as Vivaldi)
Performed by The USSR Academic Russian Chorus and the Moscow Conservatoire Students Orchestra


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Action | Adventure | Drama | Thriller

Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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