Bruce covered the song only once:.
1978-09-30 Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA
This show contains the only known Springsteen performance of Jimmy Forrest’s "Night Train" (while the stage is cleared of the fake snow that fell during "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town"). Regional live FM broadcast simulcast by about twenty radio stations throughout the south-eastern United States. This was a make-up show that had originally been slated for July 23, but which had been postponed (along with three others) due to Bruce coming down with a throat infection. On the audio Bruce can be heard apologizing for being sick and missing the original date.
Bruce on the artist
2021-06-30 SiriusXM Studio, New York City
Bruce played the song during Episode 24 of the 'From My Home to Yours', themed "Night Time Is the Right Time".
" That was the hard funk of James Brown, the man who is, without a doubt, one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Whatever you're hearing with a funky groove on it today, or if you're listening to any R&B, hip-hop, rap, the roots of the Godfather of Soul, Soul Brother No. 1 James Brown are buried in there somewhere."
He recorded "Night Train" with his band in 1961. His performance replaced the original lyrics of the song with a shouted list of cities on his East Coast touring itinerary (and hosts to black radio stations he hoped would play his music) along with many repetitions of the song's name. (Brown would repeat this lyrical formula on "Mashed Potatoes U.S.A." and several other recordings.) He also played drums on the recording. Originally appearing as a track on the album James Brown Presents His Band and Five Other Great Artists, it received a single release in 1962 and became a hit, charting #5 R&B and #35 Pop. A live version of the tune was the closing number on Brown's 1963 album Live at the Apollo. Brown also performs "Night Train" along with his singing group the Famous Flames (Bobby Byrd, Bobby Bennett, and Lloyd Stallworth) on the 1964 motion picture/concert film The T.A.M.I
. Show. Brown's backing band the J.B.'s would later incorporate the main saxophone line of "Night Train" in their instrumental single "All Aboard The Soul Funky Train", released on the 1975 album Hustle with Speed.