Smokey and Steamer
Character information
Gender Male
Born Sometime between 1920 and 1930
Primary wardrobe Greasy blue overalls
Age Not given. Likely late twenties to mid thirties
Occupation Polar Express fireman (Smokey)
Polar Express engineer (Steamer)
Songs It Takes Two (deleted)
Background information
Performed by Michael Jeter (motion-capture)
André Sogliuzzo (voice)
Appeared in The Film, The Video Game
Smokey and Steamer are twin brothers and the Polar Express' fireman and engineer. Steamer is short, fat, and bald while Smokey is tall, skinny, and has an extremely long red beard.

Role in the Film

Smokey and Steamer are first seen at the front of the locomotive, fixing its headlamp (while facing a bit of difficulty). While doing so, they leave Hero Girl in charge of driving the train in the engine room. After the headlamp is fixed, Smokey catches sight of a light ahead on the tracks. Steamer sees it too and calls out to Hero Girl to stop the train. Hero Boy and Hero Girl get the message, but have trouble finding out which controls were the brakes. They eventually figure it out and stop the train just in time. When the train finally stops, Steamer finds himself face to face with a caribou.

A giant herd of caribou is blocking the tracks, which Steamer points out would take hours for it to clear due to there being a hundred thousand to a million. Hero Boy, Hero Girl, and the Conductor get to the front of the train to try to help. On the way, Hero Boy slips and grabs on to Smokey's beard to break his fall, causing Smokey to scream in pain. It is discovered that the caribou understand Smokey's screaming, so the Conductor continues to pull Smokey's beard to try to communicate with them. They eventually manage to get them to clear the tracks.

Smokey and Steamer go back to the engine room and get the train moving again. However, Steamer suddenly finds the throttle jammed and tries to fix it, though he forgets to notice how fast the train is going and cannot hear Hero Girl calling out to them to slow down. The pin holding the throttle falls off and slips through the grate on the floor. As the train speeds down Glacier Gulch, the pin comes out of the grate and Steamer catches it in his mouth, but accidentally swallows it.

On the Ice Lake (where the ice had frozen over the tracks), Smokey gets the pin out of Steamer's stomach by hitting his back with a shovel, but pin flies out of the engine room and pierces the ice, causing it to fracture. With no other option, Smokey decides to use the pin from his hair to fix the throttle, allowing Steamer to stop the train. Suddenly, Hero Boy notices the crack in the ice getting bigger, prompting Smokey and Steamer to get the train off the lake with the Conductor navigating. They find the tracks on the other side of the lake, head toward them, and escape the cracking ice just in time.

Other appearances

The Video Game

Smokey and Steamer appear in the video game, only in the third chapter. While Hero Girl is driving the train, something goes wrong, but Smokey and Steamer return to the engine room to fix it. They ask Hero Boy to help by catching the parts that fall off and tossing them back to them. Later, after the caribou clear the track, Hero Boy helps Smokey and Steamer get the train moving again.

International languages

Language Name Meaning Voice actor(s)
FrenchLes MachinistesThe MachinistsBernard-Pierre Donnadieu
ItalianFumino e SbuffinoFumino and SbuffinoMino Caprio
JapaneseSumōkī to SuchīmāSmokey and SteamerTakaki Nakao (Smokey)
Yusaku Yara (Steamer)
Spanish (Latin America)Smokey y SteamerSmokey and SteamerMoisés Palacios
Spanish (Spain)Smokey y SteamerSmokey and SteamerAleix Estadella
SwedishSmokey och SteamerSmokey and SteamerJan Modin (Smokey)
Göran Engman (Steamer)


  • Smokey and Steamer are two of several characters from the film to not appear in the book. While someone must have been driving the train, it is unknown who it was since no scenes take place in the engine room.
  • In the film, the pair's names were only revealed in the credits. However, they mentioned their names, as well as them being twins (which was never revealed in the film at all), in the deleted scene, "It Takes Two".
  • While Steamer is the engineer and Smokey the fireman in the film, this is reversed in the video game.
  • In the Lionel set produced for the film in 2004, Smokey's figure lacks a beard of any kind, likely to keep production costs down.


  • Here us the light - Smokey
  • "I got it" - Steamer
  • "Hold Still" - Steamer
  • "Look" - Smokey
  • "What" - Steamer
  • "Stop the train! Stop the train!" - Steamer
  • "Caribou?"- Steamer
  • "I make that heard to be at least a hundred thousand. Maybe even a million. It's gonna be hours before they clear this track!" - Steamer
  • "A tough nut to crack." - Smokey
  • "And a jam." - Steamer
  • "Tight spot." - Smokey
  • "Up a creek. Up a tree. Lost in the grass. I'll tell you what's grass: our a--" Smokey and Steamer
  • "Jumping jeepers! The cotter pin's sheered off!" - Steamer
  • "The Pin!"
  • "where?" - Smokey
  • "There" - Steamer
  • "Oh, no!"
  • "Whoa The Pin!" - (During the Glacier Gulch)


Children: Hero Boy (Chris) Hero Girl (Holly) Know-It-All Billy the Lonely Boy Sister Sarah Gus the Toothless Boy Boy on Train Red Head Girl Little Boy Young Boy Steven Unnamed Kids
Adults: Conductor Hobo Smokey and Steamer Santa Claus Pastry Chefs Waiters Hero Boy's Parents Cook
Elves: Elves Acrobatic Elves Elf General Elf Lieutenant Elf Singer
Animals: Caribou Santa Claus' Reindeer
Toys: Ebenezer Scrooge Puppet Jack-in-the-Boxes Puppets
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.