One of the “Triple Changers”, Transformers capable of being changed into two different non-robot vehicles, Astrotrain proudly boasted both a train locomotive and space shuttle versions… indicating that perhaps he was named after getting his alternate forms, since otherwise he could just as easily have been able to change into a Winnebago and a yacht. “Astrotrain” just wouldn’t make as much sense then.
As one of the relatively few Decepticons capable of traveling through the cold vacuum of space, Astrotrain gets a sizable amount of action in the cartoon. Megatron wants to go to the moon to jam Earth’s radio waves? Better get Astrotrain. Who should we get to convince the blue-skinned moon-dwellers of Titan that we’re gods, and that they should mine energy crystals for us? Astrotrain doesn’t care how silly the job once you get there is, he’s still up for giving you a ride. Yes, no matter what wacky hijinks you want to get up to in space, Astrotrain’s ready to go. And once you get there, you’ve also got a train, on the off chance that the Titan-dwellers have decided to install rail tracks conforming to his particular gauge!