The first image of the fiery heart of the train being fed as it screeches, hurtling along the tracks, is one that informs the audience of what sort of ride this is going to be. The lack of conversation does not mean a lack of camaraderie between the train engineers. Amazing camera work in the tunnel, and use of grey scale throughout.
The opening does a wonderful job establishing the setting. Lang shows us the victims and their tormentor, and then openly asks who the man is. The idea that the murderer could be anybody is given to us as well. The nursery rhyme tells the audience that the children are aware of what is happening, to the consternation of the woman.