The late 1890's: As a kid, Jim (Jackie Searl) admires Casey Jones (Robert
Elliott), one of the few truly heroic (& record-breaking)
railroad-engineers of his time. Then Casey Jones dies in a tragic train
1917: Little Jim has grown up to be a handsome young man (& is now
played by Charles Starrett), & of course he is by now a railroad engineer
himself, & is going steady with Nona (Ruth Hall). Then, the US enters World
War I, & most of Jim's colleagues who are still healthy enough enlist - out
of honour & patriotism. In fact, Jim wants to do the same - when his mother
(Margaret Seddon) has a severe heart failure, & the doctor tells Jim that
if she learned he had enlisted, she wouldn't survive the shock ...
For his mother's sake, Jim refuses to enlist, even though this is seen as
grave cowardice by pretty much everybody & he is soon derided even by his
This of course leads for Jim to work even harder in his job & make
really heroic trainrides ... until one of his trains has a faulty brake &
by trying to repair it from the outside (with the train speeding towards a
curve), Jim is thrown off the train, & the train crashes in the curve due
to too much speed. He awakes in hospital with only minor bruises, but everybody
now suspects him to have abandoned the train out of cowardice, even his girl
& as if that wasn't enough, he is fired from his job because his boss
thinks it to be too great a risk to keep such a cowardly man. It ois only
thanks to Jim's best friend (& fellow engineer) Tim (George Hayes) that he
can at least get a job as fireman - Tim's fireman - at the railroad company ...
& as if you haven't guessed, soon an opportunity arises for Jim to prove
his courage when another brake is damaged when Tim's train heads for another
curve, & for a second time Jim has to climb to the outside to fix it with
the train still speeding ... & wouldn't you know it, this time he succeeds,
proving to everyone that he is indeed an ace railroad engineer, much in the
mold of Casey Jones.
Rather pretentious & dull railroad melodram that pretty much lays the
story open in its first 5 minutes (which tells the story of a boy wanting to
become a hero like his idol railroad-engineer, but has to first prove his
courage) but then takes incredibly long to set the story up - & in a pretty
corny way, too.