Lee Pomeroy, 51, was attacked by 36-year-old Darren Pencille five minutes after boarding a London-bound train at Guildford, Surrey, in January, the Old Bailey was told.
Opening their trial, Jake Hallam QC said Mr Pomeroy was killed the day before he was due to celebrate his 52nd birthday.
At 1.01pm on January 4, Mr Pomeroy and his son boarded a train in Guildford bound for London Waterloo.
The Pomeroys had got into the same carriage as Pencille and made their way down the aisle, the court heard.
Mr Hallam suggested the father and son may have been “blocking” Pencille’s way, prompting the snide response: “Ignorance is bliss.”
“I dare you, put your hand on me ”
It led to a row which quickly became “heated”, Mr Hallam said.
He described the row as “fast-moving, unexpected and tragic”.
Mr Hallam told the jury: “He did not leave it [the train] alive. Within five minutes of boarding that train, Lee Pomeroy had been stabbed in the neck.
“It was the first of 18 knife wounds that he inflicted upon him.
“A little over an hour after he boarded the train, and despite the best efforts of the emergency services who rushed to save his life, Lee Pomeroy was dead.”
According to one passenger, Pencille was the aggressor, calling Mr Pomeroy a “pussy” and “c***” in front of his teenage son.
Pencille allegedly shouted: “You touch me, you touch me and you see what happens at the next stop.”
Mr Pomeroy was said to have demanded an apology, saying : “You should not have humiliated me in front of my kid.”
According to another witness, Pencille was swearing and accusing Pomeroy of following him up the train.
Pencille called the victim racist, even though he had not said anything racist, according to a woman on the train.
Mr Pomeroy allegedly responded: “I’ve never dealt with someone with special needs before.”
Part of their heated exchange was recorded on a mobile phone.
The defendant allegedly said: “C***, you heard what I said, you f****** heard what I said. Go, put your hand on me.”
Mr Pomeroy replied: “Listen, right. I dare you, I dare you. I dare you. Put your hand on me.
“Put your hand on me ‘cos it won’t end nicely. Put your hand on me!”
Seconds later, Mr Pomeroy was stabbed in the neck, the court heard.
Afterwards, Pencille’s girlfriend, Chelsea Mitchell, 27, allegedly picked him up and bought hair clippers and razors for him to change his appearance.
Pencille, of no fixed address, denies murder and Mitchell, of Farnham, Surrey, pleads not guilty to assisting an offender.
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