As long as the real boy is in Dreamland, there's no tunnel, and I'm the only train who can deliver dreams. My kinds of dreams! Scary, creepy dreams!
~ The Nightmare Train to Little Engine.

The Nightmare Train is the main antagonist of the 2011 computer-animated film adaptation of Watty Piper's 1930 children's picture book The Little Engine That Could.

He was voiced by Ray Porter, who also played Count Grisham in Warner Brothers' The Scarecrow.


The Nightmare Train tricked Little Engine into giving her the toys and Richard (the real boy), claiming that he will take the group to the real world. However, once they were in his boxcar, he revealed his true form and pushed the Little Engine off the tracks, leaving her derailed. He intends to keep Richard and the toys in Dreamland to keep the tunnel closed and halt the delivery of good dreams, so the only dreams that could be delivered were his nightmares.

The Nightmare Train was eventually defeated by Little Engine with help of Richard. They outwitted and switched him to another track and sent him barreling down the mountain at high speed.

During the end credits, the Nightmare Train is shown at the bottom of a ravine, probably having jumped the tracks because of Little Engine and her trick. His fate afterwards is unknown.


As his name implies, the Nightmare Train is a very frightening and malevolent engine who has a strong desire to deliver nightmares to anyone. He exhibits an extremely manipulative and deceitful personality, as he deceives Little Engine into giving him the toys and Richard. He is also shown to be outwitted by Little Engine, as she takes a wrong track.


The Nightmare Train is a large black anthropomorphic 0-6-4 tenderless steam locomotive with three smokestacks and yellow creepy eyes with red pupils, pulling a train of three old rickety boxcars and finally one old rickety caboose. As soon as he had the toys and the real boy in his possession, his appearance changes into a more frightening form with his cowcatcher forming his mouth and other bestial features like his whistle and pistons. Even though he has a whistle, he has a diesel horn. In reality, steam engines do not have horns.



  • Although the Cave (although not truly evil) is the main antagonist of the 1991 The Little Engine That Could film, the Nightmare Train appeared to be a more evil villain, possibly had bigger plans, had more screen-time, and turned out to be more dangerous than his predecessor. Whereas the Cave was a neutral character since he appeared to be the fear of the mind of the 1991 film's main protagonist Tillie.
  • Some fans named The Nightmare Train Cerberus because he had three funnels on his smokebox like the three-headed dog named Cerberus of the same name from Greek mythology.


           UniversalLogo Animation Villains

Animated Features
Warren T. Rat | Mott Street Maulers (Digit) | Moe | Sharptooth | Cat R. Waul | Cactus Cat Gang (T.R. Chula, One-Eye & Sweet William) | Professor Screweyes | Steele | Junior Bloomsberry | Robert the Terrible | Serpent | Botticelli Remorso | 1 | 8 | Fabrication Machine | Machines (Cat Beast, Winged Beast, Seamstress, Steel Behemoths, Seeker Drones & Spiderbots) | The Chancellor's Party (Chancellor Fredinand) | Norvirus Raccoon | Percy "King" Dimplewade | Knuckles | Zhong | Mayor Muldoon | Heather Muldoon | Gunther

Other Animated Movies
Dr. Victor Frankenstein | Br'er Fox | Br'er Wolf | Nightmare Train

Ozzy & Strut | Hyp | Mutt and Nod | Ichy and Dil | Rinkus and Sierra | Pterano | Mr. Grasping | Toplofty and O'Bloat | Chief McBrusque | Scuttlebutt | Madame Mousey | Twitch | Niju | Nuk, Yak & Sumac | Farley the Fox | Danno Wolfe

See Also
DreamWorks Villains | Illumination Villains

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