I got hit by the "Fatigue train" and was feeling tired

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The expression 'hit by the xxx train' is a metaphor (a figure of speech), expressing that a person is suffering sudden, severe, and irresistible effects. Just as a real train is big, heavy, and unstoppable, and can suddenly kill you if you are on the rail line when it comes, a figurative 'train' can cause you to feel something you cannot stop. Being hit by the fatigue train means you suddenly feel very tired. You could be hit by the hunger train, the love train, etc.

In places where railways are scarce, people might use a metaphor involving a different heavy thing, e.g. a truck.

  • I'm guessing this is purely US English. I have never heard "the X train" in Britain. Feb 28, 2021 at 9:57
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    I'm British myself. Perhaps I read too much US-originated material on the web, etc. I subscribe to the New Yorker, that's for sure. Metaphors involving trains are common enough to be readily decodable: we know that they are forceful, hard to resist, and liable to have drastic effects: I looked into her eyes and felt as if I had been hit by a train; the knowledge that I had just clicked the wrong button and lost a million pounds hit me like a train. Feb 28, 2021 at 10:22
  • For what it's worth, I am a US English speaker, and I wouldn't call this usage exactly common, although it is perfectly understandable. In structure, it reminds me of hit with the ugly stick
    – stangdon
    Feb 28, 2021 at 20:30
  • English is fluid; we can make up metaphors on the4 spot and expect them to be understood. A colleague of mine alleges that I 'fell out of the ugly tree'. Feb 28, 2021 at 20:39

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