That Hell-Bound Train

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"That Hell-Bound Train"
Author Robert Bloch
Language English
Genre(s) Fantasy
Published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Publication type magazine
Publisher Mercury Publications
Media type Print (Softcover)
Publication date Sep 1958

"That Hell-Bound Train" is an award-winning fantasy short story by American writer Robert Bloch. It was originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in September 1958.


Martin is a young criminal with a fondness for trains. One night, as he is considering whether to abandon crime, a large unmarked black train pulls up beside him. The train conductor offers Martin anything he wants, in return for which he will "ride that Hell-Bound Train" when he dies. Martin requests the power to stop time, which he plans to use at the happiest time of his life. The conductor accedes to this request; however, over the years that follow, Martin discovers that he cannot choose which moment is his happiest.


"Train" won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1959.[1] Comic Book Resources has described it as "a classic deal-with-the-devil tale with a nice twist at the end".[2]

In other media[edit]

A comic book version of the story began publication on May 15, 2011. The adaptation was written by Joe R. Lansdale and John Lansdale, with art by Dave Wachter. Running for 3 issues, it was published by IDW Comics.

The song "Hellbound Train (Downbound Train)" by Chuck Berry is about a similar train.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ SF Awards Database
  2. ^ Lansdales and Wachter jump aboard That Hellbound Train, by Bridget Alverson, at Comic Book Resources; published March 25, 2011; retrieved January 6, 2017

External links[edit]