Numb3rs (2005–2010)
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Thirty-Six Hours 

Two trains collide, a passenger train and a freight train carrying toxic chemicals. Don, Charlie and the team are brought to the scene, investigating a potential crime.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Charlie Eppes
Alan Eppes
David Sinclair
Colby Granger
Amita Ramanujan
Nikki Betancourt
Estella Ramirez
James Malin
Randall Arney ...
Richard Cory
Jeffrey Knight
Ed Clark
Ralph Ramirez


Just off a long stakeout, Don's weary team puts in another sleepless day-and-a-half when they become part of a rescue/investigation after a freight train transporting toxic chemicals crashes into a passenger train, obliterating the black boxes. As Charlie's bots map the site, Amita tries to determine the collision's cause, Nikki sees only one possible scenario, and David chomps at the bit as more victims are jeopardized. Written by layle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 November 2008 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode aired later in the season than intended because a big train crash happened close to the original air date. Several scenes involving Charlie's loss of FBI clearance were cut as a result. One remnant of the cut story line is that Charlie wears an LAPD security pass at the train scene, not an FBI pass. See more »


A camera and hand can be clearly seen as Don pulls David away from the train near the start of the episode telling him that there is a toxic leak. See more »


Tim Hamer: [Frantically trying to summon help as the cargo train he and Cutty are driving is about to crash] Desert Pacific Rail, do you read me? Over!
Cutty Nagim: We're not gonna make it!
[Slams on the emergency brake; it does not work]
Cutty Nagim: I can't get it stopped!
Tim Hamer: Dispatch! This is Desert Pacific Rail! Dispatch, do you read me?
Cutty Nagim: Jump, Tim!
Tim Hamer: [Makes one last attempt] DISPATCH!
Cutty Nagim: TIM, JUMP!
[Tim jumps off the moving train, while Cutty stays behind the wheel as it crashes]
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Crazy Credits

[This appears on the beginning of the episode] 1.77 trillion revenue ton-miles 1.8 million carloads of hazardous material 3000 railroad stations 1.5 miles to stop See more »


Passenger Song
Performed by Great Lake Swimmers
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User Reviews

Anti-business bias
20 June 2009 | by See all my reviews

Lousy episode. The producers allowed their left wing bias to distort the plot.

This episode was based on the runaway train wreck twenty years ago in the El Cajon pass in California. That happened because the weight of the train was miscalculated and other technical problems with the brakes.

In this fictional version, the brakes were OK, the train would have stopped in time except for the callous disregard of safety by the rail operator (railroad president) who deliberately sends overloaded trains down the tracks. The plot looks at a mobster as a possible culprit for a while then clears him. That is so the FBI agents can chat among themselves, explicitly equating normal business ethics with those of the Mob. This happens long before the businessman is fingered for the crime.

To add to the air of the surreal, the passengers trapped in the crashed train are rescued by FBI special agents, the regular cast, instead of by Fire and Rescue personnel. This being Hollywood, they do not wear hard hats or firefighters' helmets or fire resistant clothing as they crawl inside the wreckage. That would keep the viewers from recognizing the actors. Dumb and offensive.

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