Dream interpretation - trains and railways as dream symbols

Railways are unusual symbols. They have not got any obvious meanings so studying them has produced some interesting results. If we relate dreams to recent thoughts and feelings then we can start to decode their meaning. In the case of the next dream the dreamer had become very interested in art in real life. He could only think of one thing - his next visit to his local community centre where he was taking an art course.

THE DREAM I am on a train moving along a railway line. It seems quite an enthusiastic dream.

The dream features a feeling of enthusiasm. Its actually a very strong hint to the dreams meaning. In real life the dreamer was enthusiastic about art. So the feeling of enthusiasm in the dream could depict this new interest and enthusiasm. Dreams will pick up on prominent feelings like these. Often a dream is just a mirror of our emotions.

So what could the railway symbolise? Well railways are fairly confined journeys as they move from point A to point B. During the journey they cannot deviate. In real life the dreamer had a one track mind at that moment as all he could think of was art. So this metaphor fits perfectly so that's usually enough to suggest that this is the actual meaning.

Dreams depict actual thought processes so what could this dream depict? It seems most likely that the dream would portray this thought - "I just have a one track mind right now. All I can think about is art." So really this dream is noting this new interest in the dreamer.

Now try the following dream.

THE DREAM I was on a railway line. Suddenly this accident was occuring. Because of the confined space I was unable to escape this. Later I am watching Border Collies. They were aggressive and fighting with each other.

The day before the dreamer received a voice mail from a co-worker who appeared very angry. The co-worker had a tendency to be nasty minded. The dreamer now simply wanted to cut himself off from her. He had faced a lot of tension just recently and his working environment was very confined. Now he was on bad terms with this co-worker it would make work very uncomfortable.

The next step in understanding a dream is to try to see if a dream could symbolise recent thoughts. Does the dream seem consistent with being linked to the issue on your mind.

In real life the dreamer had been thinking about this angry co-worker. So any symbol which links to aggression and anger could be said to be consistent with this theory. It would link the issue with the dream.

The other aspect of the dream is the confined space. The dreamer cannot escape the railway line easily as it has steep sides. What could this depict? How can we link this to the issue? Think of any link to a confined space and an unavoidable accident. Actually the dream portrays this type of thought very well - "I am now on really bad terms with her. She is very nasty and it will be really difficult from now on because its almost impossible to avoid her at work".

So we start to realise the meaning of the railway in the dream. A railway moves from Point A to point B and cannot deviate. In the first dream this depicted the one track mind of the dreamer. In this dream it depicts a specific feeling - that the dreamer could not avoid this co-worker who was causing trouble. Their paths were bound to cross. Just like trains tend to cross each other. The railway lines are fixed and little choice is given for a route.

You will find that trains will tend to deal with the theme of 'the one track mind' or "staying on tracks" with some plan of action. Take for instance the following dream.

THE DREAM During the dream I was on a train and had a valid ticket. However, I was trying to get off early but the train driver insisted that I stay on. The ticket I had had given the train driver the right to keep me on the train until I had reached the destination on my ticket. Reluctantly I agreed to this and got back into the engine up front with the driver. Here the intial excitement of being upfront with the driver soon wore off as it was noisy smelly and unpleasant.

In reality the dreamer had been given orders to lose weight by her GP. Knowing how resistant she was to dieting she found herself a diet coach to help her 'stay on track'. The dreamer had agreed to this plan of action and knew that the honeymoon would soon pass and the hard slog of being seriously consistent with her diet would set in.

So we see that this dream is a clear metaphor for this situation. The train is symbolic of her need to stay on track. The engine driver represents her diet coach who would need to make her stay on until her final destination (weight loss). The intial excitment of being upfront symbolised her intial excitement of a diet coach. Yet she knew that havinga coach would soon become tiresome just like the engine.

So see how the railway deals with the theme very loosely. Rather than being about the dreamers one track mind and focus on her goals its about her need to stay on track. Many books on dream symbols will give you fixed meanings to dreams. Whereas a dream will deal with a general theme. Two dreams might deal with the theme of staying on track. One might represent the dreamers stubbornness and determination to stay on track. The other dream might represent the complete absence of these qualities. In such a case the dream may emphasise the dreamers need to have greater focus and find ways of staying on track.

This dream emphasises the rich way in which dreams use metaphors. Dreams use symbols like words and they can appear in many different contexts.


RAILWAYS : Railways move in a fixed line from Point A to Point B. So in some way they link to such a meaning. They maybe show you going about your life doing the same things and following a routine continuously. The dream maybe about a sudden change in that routine or about a need to change. In another sense it maybe about other people and their stubbornness in following only one line. It may show that they only think about one thing and are unable to act differently. So think of some theme in your life which features such a feeling right now.

KEY WORDS(Pick a quote which captures your feelings right now. Think especially of the day before the dream) :
- "Its always the same"
- "he just does not listen"
- "they only think about one thing"
- "my usual routine"
- "I was stuck in a routine"


RAILWAY STATION : Railway stations tend to be symbols of schedules. So if you are wondering about tomorrow and how to get things done its probably about that. Railways tend to link to your routine so if that has been disrupted there maybe a link to that.

KEY WORDS(Pick a quote which captures your feelings right now. Think especially of the day before the dream) :
- "tomorrows schedule will be..."
- "one thing will lead to another"
- "my daily schedule"

RAILWAYS in dreams : A detailed essay on the symbolism of railways using real dream interpretations
RAILWAY STATIONS in dreams : What do railway stations mean in dreams
Dream Dictionary : An A to Z of symbolic meanings with every meaning for each symbol