18 user 2 critic

Disaster on the Coastliner (1979)

TV-PG | | Action, Drama | TV Movie 29 October 1979
A vengeful employee of a computer-controlled railway arranges a head-on collision of passenger trains. Can it be stopped?


Richard C. Sarafian (as Richard Sarafian)


David Ambrose

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lloyd Bridges ... Al Mitchell
Raymond Burr ... Estes Hill
Robert Fuller ... Matt Leigh
Pat Hingle ... John Marsh
E.G. Marshall ... Roy Snyder
Yvette Mimieux ... Paula Harvey
William Shatner ... Stuart Peters
Paul L. Smith ... Jim Waterman / Victor Prescott
Arthur Malet ... Southbound Conductor
Harry Caesar ... Northbound Conductor
Jacque Lynn Colton Jacque Lynn Colton ... Mrs. Shanks
Lane Smith ... John Carlson
Sandy McPeak ... Hennessey
Virginia Kiser
Rockne Tarkington


Victor Prescott, who's real name is Jim Waterman, modifies the computer controlling the railroad track (signals, switches, alarms) between San Francisco and Los Angeles in such a way that two trains are heading towards each other on the same track without anyone being able to prevent the disaster. He wants the railroad company to confess that there was criminal negligence involved in an accident some years before during which a derail caused several fatalities - including Waterman's wife and kids. Written by Alto Speckhardt <Alto.Speckhardt@student.uni-ulm.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 October 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Weiche steht auf Tod See more »

Filming Locations:

East Lyme, Connecticut, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


During the filming of the close-up shots of William Shatner on the outside of the train, the wind machine had to be turned down several times, because it would constantly blow off his toupée. See more »


The hijacker sets up a 1978 Sharp Sidekick portable television to stay informed of media reports as he drives the train. The picture on the television's screen is shown in color but this model only produced a black and white picture. See more »


Referenced in The Captains (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

classic disaster movie
8 February 2005 | by tedwardioSee all my reviews

Two commuter trains are set on a collision course by a computer programmer who has a grudge against the railroad company. It is then a race against time to save the hundreds of passengers on the two trains (including the vice presidents wife) from impending disaster.

Reasons to love this movie

  • Its full of stars - the guy from star trek, the guy from ironside, the guy from men in black its great to see all these 'stars' and to see how they were then.

  • Its got tension, excitement and the implausible ending (which any classic disaster movie needs) -

Finally it has Lloyd Bridges reprising his role from Airplane - "Now, this is no time for coffee" What more do you need?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Recently Viewed