The Galaxy Railways is a spin-off show of Galaxy Express 999 Produced by Leiji Matsumoto. The plot revolves around an SDF platoon called Sirius, specifically Manabu Yuuki, son of the late captain Wataru Yuuki. In 2006, a sequel series called Galaxy Railways: Eternal Divergence was released in Japan, followed by an OVA crossover with GE999. While Funimation has acquired dubbing rights to The Galaxy Railways, they have yet to dub Eternal Divergence and Letter from the Abandoned Planet.
The story takes place in the future, where trains are capable of interplanetary travel. The fleet of the Galaxy Railways is protected by the Space Defence Force, or SDF, against intergalactic terrorists, meteor storms and malicious alien life.
In the series it seems that the Galaxy Railways serve as both an establishment and government presiding over a large sector of the galaxy. The railways are made up of a series of large rings that create energy shields to protect the trains that move between them, creating the tracks the trains follow. The railways are under the rule of the Supreme Commander, but seem to be more actively guided by a lower ranking official known as the Commander. The Galaxy Railways Headquarters preside over The SDF and the SPG (Space Panzer Grenadiers, an elite defense force) as well as all passenger operations.
In the beginning of the story, the main character, Manabu Yuuki, has always had dreams of joining the SDF, following in the footsteps of his father and brother. Because both his brother and father died while serving in the SDF, his mother tries to stop Manabu from joining the SDF. Despite this, Manabu is determined to join, and boards the train to Destiny Station to join the force. Manabu trains hard and despite conflicts from Captain Bulge, Bruce and other characters, joins the Sirius Platoon that his father used to command.
The Sirius Platoon's train is headed up by a steam locomotive dubbed Big One. The locomotive itself is based on the Union Pacific Big Boy locomotives (4-8-8-4 wheel arrangement) that were built by the American Locomotive Co. of Schenectady, New York, and are widely considered to be the largest steam locomotives ever built. The Sirius Platoon is the primary focus of the Galaxy Railways, though the Spica and Vega platoons also make appearances and become more involved towards the end of the series.
Episode No. Title Original air date
1 "Sacrifice" 10/4/03
2 "Knot in Time" 10/11/03
3 "The Driving Wheel of Fate" 10/18/03
4 "Those Who Call Themselves Eternity" 10/25/03
5 "Big One Hijacked" 11/1/03
6 "Shrieking in Darkness - 1" 11/8/03
7 "Shrieking in Darkness - 2" 11/15/03
8 "Afterglow" 11/22/03
9 "Corridors of Memories" 11/29/03
10 "Crossroads" 12/06/03
11 "Yearning" 12/13/03
12 "Twilight" 12/20/03
13 "Train of Fate" 1/10/04
14 "Ties" 1/17/03
15 "Common Front" 1/24/04
16 "Sexaroid" 1/31/04
17 "Armored Goddess" 2/7/04
18 "Life or Death" 2/14/04
19 "Time of Tranquility" 2/21/04
20 "Choices" 2/28/04
21 "Rebellion" 3/6/04
22 "Ephemeral Wind" 3/13/04
23 "Harsh Verdict" 3/20/04
24 "The Galaxy Ablaze" 3/27/04
25 "Echoes of Life" 4/3/04
26 "Far-Reaching Hope" 4/10/04