The Polar Express Wiki
Conductor: "Who in the blazes applied that emergency brake?!"
Know-It-All: "He did!"

— The Conductor after the Hero Boy pulls the emergency brake.

The emergency brake is a brake that brings the entire train to a quick complete stop, but it is supposed to only be used for emergency purposes.

In the film, Billy, who first declines to board after meeting the Conductor, has second thoughts, and tries to board the train, but it leaves too fast. Know-It-All gives Hero Boy the idea to pull the emergency brake, which stops the train and lets Billy on board. An angry Conductor, however, not knowing his real intentions, confronts the Hero Boy, thinking he was either tampering with the brake or trying to keep the train from reaching the North Pole, before the Hero Girl steps in and confesses about the situation, and shows Billy in the observation car. The Conductor sees Billy taking a seat in the observation car and lets the Hero Boy off with a reminder of the train's tight schedule.

Later, the Conductor comes to punch Hero Girl's ticket, but she cannot find it, so the Conductor takes her away. Hero Boy and Know-It-All think she might get thrown off the train, so Hero Boy goes to pull the emergency brake again to stop the train for her. However, he stops when he finds her ticket hanging in an air vent above the brake, grabs it, and goes after the Hero Girl and the Conductor, navigating the snow-covered roofs of the train.

At the North Pole, when the observation car is detached from the train and becomes a runaway, Hero Boy looks for an emergency brake. The Hobo appears and taps the manual brake wheel before disappearing when crashing into a wall. Hero Boy turns the wheel and slows down the car enough for it to lightly crash onto the turntable.


  • The brake is not seen in the video game, but it is mentioned. In the Game Boy Advance version, the brake is seen on the platform of the observation car.
Billy's present Ebenezer Scrooge puppet Emergency brake The first gift of Christmas Fritz the Dog Hot chocolate Northern lights Record players Silver bell Tickets