''The Galaxy Railways'' is a science-fiction anime about railways extending beyond planets' surfaces and into space. With the advent of interplanetary travel through these trains, humanity formed the Space Defence Force (or SDF for short) as a way to protect passengers from terrorists, aliens and hazardous asteroids.

Manabu Yuuki is one of the youngest members of the SDF, enlisting after the deaths of his father and brother, both sacrificing themselves in the name of duty. Manabu is assigned to Sirius Platoon which include Louise Fort Drake, the only human female in Sirius Platoon; Schwanhelt Bulge, the captain of Big One, which happens to be Sirius Platoon's train; Bruce J Speed, a hot-headed serviceman who detests Manabu; David Young, the easy-going opposite, and friend, of Bruce; and Yuki Sexaroid, an android nurse.

What you get is an intense episodic anime from the mind of Leiji Matsumoto. The show contains plenty of sad, heroic moments, a heartwarming sense of companionship between it's cast, and complex themes dealing with life or death situations. Also included are deeper themes of destiny and accepting your own fate.

The 26 episode TV series is available in an English dub by Creator/FUNimation. There are 4 OVA episodes collectively known as "A Letter from an Abandoned Planet", and a second series entitled "Crossroads to Eternity", with 24 episodes in total. However, the [=OVAs=] and second TV series have not been licensed in English.

Not to be confused with its spiritual predecessor, ''Manga/GalaxyExpress999'' (although the OVA forms a crossover with it), or Leiji Matsumoto's source of inspiration for both series, ''Anime/NightOnTheGalacticRailroad''.


* ActionGirl: Louise, and then the girls of Spica Platoon.
* AfterlifeExpress: It comes at midnight every few months to a specific platform; you ride it until you're ready to move on.
* AlternateUniverse: Alien invaders seem to love leaping out of black holes to attack trains in Manabu's universe.
** Also, the series is part of the '''Leijiverse''', see that entry below for more details.
* AmazonBrigade: Spica Platoon.
* AnyoneCanDie: [[spoiler: Mostly one-off or minor characters die, but this series practically does the worst thing imaginable and kills off Bruce]].
* BadassArmy: The Space Defense Force and the Space Panzer Grenadiers qualify even though they're part of a space railway corporation. The various train platoons are badass enough to defy the orders of the corrupted Galaxy Railway executives when the executives attempt to stop them from rescuing the main cast.
* BatmanGambit: Bulge knows his questionable actions involving his punching an intelligence officer in the face and disobeying unethical orders will likely result in his dismissal (and indeed he gets fired in episode 23), so he hands the cosmo matrix (a key to defeating the BigBad) to the train mechanics so that it can be studied and integrated into Big One's weapons system. When the intelligence bureau general demands the cosmo matrix, the mechanics give him a fake. When Bulge gets fired (because of the intelligence bureau general's political influence), Big One is officially impounded. But of course, the mechanics take the time to fix Big One while everyone else is out. By the time Bulge gets the secret go-ahead from the strategic commander to get Sirius Platoon back together, Big One is ready to roll. In other words, Bulge used his own dismissal as a way to get Big One ready for the final battle and keep his platoon away from the eyes of the corrupt intelligence bureau.
* BittersweetEnding
* BloodlessCarnage: Averted viciously. Characters bleed easily and gunfights can get incredibly violent.
* BoobsOfSteel: Julia from Spica Platoon. She's also the one who does AwesomenessByAnalysis.
* ChekhovsGun: Literally, the TragicKeepsake gun that Manabu inherited after his father's demise. The gun is broken and won't fire, which makes it the perfect tool for tricking a suicidal maniac into getting arrested[[note]]said maniac tried to use the gun on himself in order to detonate a bomb planted in his torso, but as the gun doesn't work, Manabu gets the upper hand and kicks the dude into submission[[/note]].
* CoolTrain: Big One, and all the other engines used by the SDF. The majority of the passenger trains resemble real trains.
* DyingAlone: [[spoiler:Bruce]] and at a gas station of all places, shot InTheBack by some random punk.
* {{Filler}}: The second series is full of these. Then again, it's an episodic show where plot development is kept in the background [[spoiler: until the final battle with aliens that are pissed off of humans spreading the railways into their territorial space]].
* FiveManBand:
** TheHero: Manabu
** TheLancer: Bruce
** TheBigGuy: David
** TheCaptain: Bulge
** TheChick: Louise, and Yuki
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Vega Platoon]] and pretty much some of the minor characters, including two robotic train conductors.
* HotSpringsEpisode: Episode 19, which served as comedic relief, especially with the violence that constantly goes on. One just has to see what the train crews do on vacation to get a good laugh.
* MsFanservice: Yuki Sexaroid. And Louise to some extent.
* MonsterOfTheWeek
* OnTheNextEpisodeOfCatchPhrase: The English-language version had "See you next time on the railways!" (usually said cheerily by Manabu), though "We're going to encounter something at the next station" was what was used on the subtitles.
* PlantAliens: [[spoiler:The mysterious aliens that keep showing up look like human-shaped plants under their armor.]]
* RidiculouslyHumanRobot: Seriously, there is ''no way'' to tell Yuki's one until she says it outright.
* SacrificialLion: [[spoiler:Bruce Speed]], surprisingly enough.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: One of Manabu's key character traits is that he tends to ignore orders that he thinks are wrong or go against his personal ethics. Additionally, in the penultimate episode, the whole of Sirius Platoon gets back together to save the day, despite having been broken up and Captain Bulge having been officially booted from the force. Said unemployment means that Bulge doesn't have to worry about getting punished while away from Planet Destiny. And strategic commander Todo decides to screw the regulations when the corrupt and incompetent intelligence general hijacks the control center (Todo sticks up the general at gunpoint and then orders the security guards to escort the general out of the room in handcuffs).
** And yet again, in season 2, the train platoons and Todo disobey the commands of the corrupt Galaxy Railway executives and force their way past execution threats through appearance of solidarity, shocking the Destiny Station security guards. In essence, the platoon members implicitly said "Our job is to protect the galaxy railways from all possible threats. If we must protect them from our own employers' sick plans, so be it!"
* ShoutOut: The joker in a deck of cards at one point is Anime/CaptainHarlock.
* SoProudOfYou: Manabu gets to hear his father say this to him in a sort of vision thing in the final episode. [[spoiler:In season 2, Manabu hears this from his father when the latter requests suicide by proxy in order to stop the rogue dimensional tunneling machine from killing everyone.]]
* StockFootage: The animations of the trains moving through space and Big One's launch sequence. You'll also hear the same bits of dialogue being reused each time for the latter. One wonders why the launch sequence is so important.
* ThemeTuneCameo: Manabu gets roped into singing the theme in the HotSpringsEpisode, and he's forced to sing the tune while wearing a pink mini-dress.
* TickleTorture: In "Memory Gallery," this is one of the ways in which they convince the memory thief to give back Bruce's memory.
* TimeTravel: Manabu falls back in time to just before his brother's death... in the ''second'' episode.
* {{Troperiffic}}: We have the reluctant hero, the male partner that bullies him, the girl who has mixed feelings for him, a steel-hardened captain, a sexy nurse robot, and a chronic gambler among them. Now throw in a basic scenario with predictable one-off stories. Matsumoto does this all the time but this never stops his works from being fun.
* WagonTrainToTheStars: The Galaxy Railways themselves.
* WarIsHell: Even women and children are never safe.
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove: As a sexaroid assigned to the platoon, Yuki doesn't really feel like part of the team at first because she's just programmed to do her job and can be easily be replaced if she gets destroyed. Manabu, however, doesn't buy this and helps her to see that she's more than this. And a person resembling Tochiro Oyama (Kei Oyama, who may be a relative) tells Yuki that her soul is human, even if her body is mechanical.
* WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief: [[ConversedTrope Discussed]] in the ADR director and voice actor commentary for the final episode on the English-language release disc. The ADR director notes that he's heard people who've worked on the show wonder about how a train would have steam when it's in space-- but, then again, how would a ''train'' even travel through space in the first place?