Judicious use of a train (usually) to interrupt a ChaseScene. The Train Escape comes in three distinct flavors:

'''1'''-
During a chase, the quarry can usually get away by darting across a set of tracks just ahead of the train. The pursuer will inevitably get caught by the train, and the quarry makes good his escape.

A common subversion might be that the quarry actually stops on the other side of the tracks to gloat... only to discover that it's a short train that passes by in just a few seconds, allowing the chase to continue.

This can also be applied to street chases, with traffic (usually a semi or other big truck) pulling out from a side street -- or, really, ''any'' sudden (if temporary) obstacle which obstructs or impedes the pursuer, allowing the quarry a significant head start or outright escape. Typically involves a car chase, but a foot chase will work just as well.

See also VehicleVanish. And please, DontTryThisAtHome

'''2-'''
During a foot chase, the quarry will hop onto a train to escape the pursuer. This can involve boarding a ready-to-depart train at the station, with the doors shutting in the pursuer's face; but it usually works best if the quarry has to actually charge down the tracks in order to catch a moving train, and the pursuer is just that one step too far behind and cannot catch up as the train accelerates, taking the quarry with it.

Doesn't work as much today, with most modern trains having a) automatic doors or b) doors that are locked before departure. So nowadays the quarry jumps on ''top'' of the train, and sit down gasping while their pursuer is left in the dust. In modern "{{Wuxia}}" films, the pursuer will follow, resulting in TheClimax -- a TraintopBattle. As with Type 1, street traffic (generally a semi truck) can be used instead of an actual train.

'''3-'''
Both pursuers and pursued are on a moving train, and the person(s) being chased unhook a part of the train to separate them and escape.

All three variations of this trope often work as a way to artificially extend the plot, as the bad guys get away and the heroes have to go look for them all over again.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Type 1]]

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Not exactly a chase, but Naota escapes an annoying conversation with Haruko in ''Anime/{{FLCL}}'' by going under the crossing guards and crossing the track before a commuter train passes.

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In ''Recap/TintinTheBrokenEar'', {{Tintin}}'s car just barely makes it past a train, which delays his pursuers. Unfortunately, their car catches up with his in the mountains.
** Subverted in the Franchise/{{Tintin}} adventure ''Recap/TintinTheCalculusAffair'', as pursuer Tintin manages to stay on the bad guys' tail.
*** And used straight in ''Recap/TintinCigarsOfThePharaoh''.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* ''King Of The Rocketmen'' (1930s serial film)
* ''Film/WeirdScience'': one of the protagonists evades a police chase this way.
* ''Film/TimeChasers'' (''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode): a tractor pulls across the road, cutting off the pursuers long enough to give the DesignatedHero a healthy lead.
* In ''Film/{{Next}}'', thanks to the main character's future-viewing powers, we get to see him both crash into the train ''and'' escape thanks to it.
* The first ''Film/NationalTreasure'' film used the traffic variant. It works, temporarily.
* In ''Film/TheCannonballRun'', two of the racers escape a police car by jumping over a train.
* The Train Man escapes from Seraph, Morpheus and Trinity this way in ''Film/TheMatrixRevolutions''.
* The opening of ''Film/PrimalFear'', when Aaron Stamper was running from the police.
* ''Film/DickTracy'' (1990), while Kid was trying to escape from Dick Tracy.
* ''WesternAnimation/WatershipDown'' (1978), a group of protagonist rabbits were trying to get away from an Efrafan patrol are saved in this way. The escapees interpret the train as a messenger sent from the rabbit sun-god, Frith, but the more savvy Efrafans have a slightly better understanding.
* ''Film/TheTransporter'' pulled this off during the opening chase sequence.
* In the 2007 ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' movie, Sam is chasing his "stolen" car when it runs over train tracks just before a train passes, cutting Sam off. Also, later in the movie, a concerned Mikaela follows Sam on her scooter and is cut off by a police car.
* Played with in the final scene ''Film/{{Entrapment}}'', where it is combined with OffScreenTeleportation, and executed by a GentlemanThief played by Creator/SeanConnery, and a PhantomThief played by Catherine Zeta Jones. Done to death in all its hilarious application.
* ''Film/EnemyOfTheState'': Creator/WillSmith and Gene Hackman still have time to duke it out mano-a-mano while the pursuers are stuck behind the train.
* The UsefulNotes/NewZealand movie ''Film/{{Snakeskin}}'' features a scene where the heroes are fleeing some skinheads over a drug deal gone wrong. The heroes manage to evade the skinheads by performing a [[TheDukesOfHazzard Dukes of Hazzard]] stunt involving racing a freight train through a level crossing. Naturally, the skinheads do not make it and are forced to wait. They are left even further behind after the train slams on the brakes and ends up stopping while still blocking the crossing.
* ''Film/ManOnALedge''. As the main character is escaping from the cops at the beginning.
* Performed in ''Film/ToLiveAndDieInLA'' during a car chase.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Done during the penultimate chapter of ''TheMeetingPlaceCannotBeChanged''. Interestingly, the guys being chased don't know it, and only use the TrainEscape as a habitual precaution.
* ''Series/PrisonBreak'', a few times.
* In the pilot episode of ''Series/KnightRider'', the EvilMinions use semi-tractors as obstacles for Michael and KITT to allow the {{Big Bad}}s to escape. Of course, thank's to KITT's super-abilities, the obstacles are bypassed with ease.
** Another ''Series/KnightRider'' episode featured an odd reversal/variant: a villain uses his nitro-powered car to push his victim's car ''into'' an oncoming train.
** In yet another episode it looked as though a passing train would enable their pursuers to catch up, only KITT ended up leaping ''through'' a train thanks to [[ContrivedCoincidence a boxcar whose side doors had conveniently been left open.]] Of course, the side of a boxcar isn't ''that'' sturdy compared to some of the things KITT has crashed through in the course of the series, so this was probably a concession to the budget.
* In the sixth season finale of ''Series/TheAmazingRace'', the second place team was less than a minute behind the first team, when running to the finish line. The second team then got held up at a railway crossing, giving the first team the victory.

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[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* In ''ComicStrip/DickTracy'', Shakey does it to lose the pursuing Tracy in his climatic attempt to escape.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/MarioKart64'', in the Kalimari Desert track.
** And also done in ''Cruisin' USA'' in the Death Valley level.
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'''s "Meet the Scout", the RED Scout offs two pursuers by luring them in front of a train, and double-jumping away JustInTime.


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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' subverts it: Ned pursues Homer in a car; Homer attempts a Train Escape, but Ned manages to jump through an empty car to continue after him.
** In another ''TheSimpsons'' episode (the one in Florida), Homer loses a chasing police car by crossing in front of an oncoming train, and then promptly gets hit by a train going in the opposite direction on the second set of tracks.
*** That's a DoubleSubversion.
** Another Simpsons example - When Homer becomes Death and is made to kill Marge, he kills Patty instead and tapes Marge's hair to her head. God figures it out and chases him with a beam of light. Homer speeds away, comes to some train tracks and ''just'' makes it across. God's light has to wait on the other side until the train gets out of the way.
* Shaak Ti and two other Jedi use trains both for evasion and for dividing-and-conquering during their flight/fight against Grievous' Magnaguards in the ''StarWarsCloneWars'' miniseries. Shaak Ti escapes Grievous himself by using the Force to tie his cape to a passing train.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', Applejack tries to make an escape from her friends this way. Her friends simply fly over the train.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooAndTheReluctantWerewolf'', Shaggy attempts to lose the other racers by driving in front of an oncoming train. However, everyone else successfully makes it, except for IronButtmonkey Dracula.

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[[folder:Type 2]]

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In the eleventh ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' movie, our heroes got on a train that was about to depart to evade Zero's Magnemite/ton/zone. Conveniently, they were never asked for tickets, much less to pay for the windows they busted when fighting against Zero's Pokemon when they were eventually found...

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[[folder: Film ]]

* Will Smith's character successfully does this in ''Film/ThePursuitOfHappyness''.
* In ''Film/USMarshals'', Wesley Snipes escapes from Tommy Lee Jones using this. He reaches the roof of a train station just as the train is pulling out, runs to match speed with it and jumps onto the top of the train.
* In ''Film/RatRace'', Enrico is being chased by a crazed ambulance driver, and avoids him by jumping onto a train ''going at full speed''.
* A variant occurs in ''Film/TheGreatEscape'' with two of the escapees running up to a train just as it is pulling out so the guards on the platform will not have time to check their papers.
* ''Film/{{Blade}}'' grabs the end of a train with one arm while holding the love interest in the other. The train pulls them to safety while dislocating his arm.
* Used hilariously in the opening scene of ''Film/OBrotherWhereArtThou'', when the main character jumps on the train and starts talking to some hobos he finds there, only to get yanked off in mid-speech as he's still chained to his fellow escapees who haven't been able to climb up also.
* A subway variant occurs in ''Film/TheFrenchConnection'', ending with [[KarmaHoudini the target]] [[MomentOfAwesome waving goodbye to his pursuer]].
* ''[[Film/TheBourneSeries The Bourne Supremacy]]'': Bourne evades police at a train station, and eventually gets away on one.
** DoubleSubverted. The train doesn't leave right away, his pursuers close in, and Bourne has to get off the train, then double back. The second time he boards, the train leaves.
* ''Bright Lights, Big City'': Jamie hops on a departing subway train to escape from his estranged brother.
* ''Film/AHardDaysNight''. Incidentally, Music/TheBeatles were going to catch the train anyway for the next leg of their tour, but getting away from [[EveryoneChasingYou their squealing mob of fangirls]] was a bonus.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* Played with in ''Literature/ChildOfTheHive''. When Alex, Ben and Will run into the Underground to escape pursuit, Alex concludes that the trains weren't given a script to follow because they have to wait for one to arrive.
* ''A Farewell to Arms'' by Creator/ErnestHemingway. After the protagonist deserts he jumps on a train to get across a guarded bridge.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Subverted in an episode of ''Series/{{Angel}}''; instead of giving up the chase, the monster grabs the end of the train as it moves off and climbs inside.
* [[spoiler:Scott Dunn]], the [[spoiler:SerialKiller]] BigBad of ''Series/{{Castle}}'s'' episode "Boom!", manages to escape Beckett in a foot chase by getting on a subway.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Towards the beginning of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', Cloud escapes pursuit by jumping on top of a train as it passes under a tunnel.
* In ''VideoGame/PlanetAlcatraz'', Boar escapes from the Industrial Area by killing the guards and hopping on the train used to transfer weapons to other areas.
* In ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' Marston can jump from his horse onto a moving train. This can make a ''RuleOfCool'' escape, since he can usually outrun his pursuers, but the train is way cooler, especially if bound for the Mexican border.
* No idea whether this is a reference, parody, subversion, or inversion, but the Ghost Train segment in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' (where, at one point, the protagonists are pursued ''by'' the train) deserves some sort of mention.
* The end of the "Fear That Gives Men Wings" stage of ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'' has Vinnie Gognitti jumping onto a train to get away from Max. Max has to do the same with the next train in order to end the level and continue the chase.
* ''MirrorsEdge'' likes this: There's a few levels which involve jumping on or between moving subways.
** By "on", we literally mean ''on'': [[CrazyAwesome Faith trainsurfs subways, and jumps from one to another, to escape the bad guys]].
* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'', the player can do delivery missions using trains. Initiating the delivery mission while wanted will cause the player to lose their wanted level.
* Often utilized in ''VideoGame/AgentUSA'' to escape cities whose citizens have been turned into [[ZombieApocalypse walking TV static]] before they overwhelm the player.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Used in a "Runt and Rita" short in ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'': Chased by Nazi dogs, Rita makes it to the train, but Runt misses it; so Rita disembarks from the train to stay with Runt.
* Yet another example from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In a scene which homages the opening sequence to ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'', Bart evades Homer by making an escape like this on the school bus. It should be noted that the scene referenced from ''Raiders'' featured an ''airplane'' escape.
* On ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'', the ClockKing in the episode of the same name uses this trick to make a dramatic exit after his first face-to-face encounter with Batman: "I don't know what to tell you, Batman... except that the 9:15 is always six minutes early."
** Also, in "MadLove" the Joker falls off a ledge onto a train's roof during a chase scene. He tries to taunt Batman, [[StealthHiBye only to find him standing right behind his back]].
* ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail: Fievel Goes West'': Tiger manages to catch the train to escape a pack of dogs. Who should he meet inside but the engineer's dog?
* Hermes and Bender hop a train to escape Mom's killbots in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "Lethal Inspection".

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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Gavin boards a train on the Underground to escape from Patient #12 in ''KateModern: The Last Work''.

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[[folder:Type 3]]

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', Kimblee and Scar are fighting aboard a train; when Kimblee is seriously injured, he detaches the back end of the train (containing Scar) to escape.
* In an early chase scene in ''Anime/CastleInTheSky'', Pazu unhooks the tractor unit of the train to shake off the pursuers.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* Done by Creator/BusterKeaton in the short ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEex5zazgYc The Goat]]''; he also accidentally leaves behind a flatcar full of soldiers in the same way in ''Film/TheGeneral''.
* Done during both the {{Traintop Battle}}s in ''Film/TheLoneRanger''.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Used in one episode of ''Series/TheCape''.
* Also showed up in the pilot for ''HumanTarget''.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''VideoGame/{{Grandia}}'', Justin and Co escape from Nina, Saki and Mio by detaching the engine from the rest of the train with their enemies in ''the engine''. Since Justin had broken the brake lever before that happened, the Garlyle soldiers were stuck in the moving train for hours until it slowed down, while the heroes walked away.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Done quite by accident in ''CuriousGeorge: Follow That Monkey''.
* In ''The Wrong Trousers'' (''Wallace and Gromit''), Feathers [=McGraw=] does this on a model railway.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' Reverend Lovejoy does this on a train ride at a zoo to escape from killer baboons.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'': Babyface and his gang try to do this to Batman and Plastic Man in "Bold Beginnings!".
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