Will climbs out to the back of the engine in order to guide Frank's attempt to pair up the two trains, but the grain car on Triple 7 blows a leak preventing 1206 from making the link. They try again, but the pin doesn't fall. Will tries to couple the trains by hand but gets knocked down and has to climb his way back onto 1206, injuring his foot in the process. As the train approaches Stanton, Frank attempts to apply 1206's brakes, but the pull from Triple 7 simply drags it along with it. Will takes over the throttle while Frank attempts to manually brake the freight cars on 777. The train begins to slow... 34... 33... 25... and then the brakes overheat on 1206, and the train begins to speed up again. Will hits the independent brake as the train comes into the Stanton curve, listing to one side and losing some of its cargo. Miraculously, the train makes it through the Stanton curve, but it continues to gain speed in excess of 75 mph, and it looks like it will have to be derailed, which would kill both Frank and Will. Frank continues to run along the top of the train, headed for 777's engine but he is stopped by a gap too wide to cross. Suddenly a red pickup pulls up beside 1206, and Ned Oldham (Lew Temple) signals for Will to hop in the back. Ned then speeds up in an attempt to synchronize with the speed of the train so that Frank can make the jump. When Frank fails to jump, Ned drives up parallel to the engine of 777, allowing Will to leap aboard and apply the brakes. Slowly, the train comes to complete stop. In the final scene, Frank, Will, and Ned are given heroes' welcomes as the following epilogue says:
Frank Barnes was promoted...now happily retired...full benefits. Will Colson is happily married...to Darcy...second child on the way. Connie Hopper was promoted to VP of train operations...Oscar Galvin's old job. Ryan Scott is alive and well. Dewey is currently working in the fast food industry.