The show covers the changes in the railroad industry from the 23 miles in 1830 to the 200,000 miles by 1900. It starts with a basic explanation of how a steam locomotive works and the dangers involved including boiler explosions. The various dangers faced by passengers in train travel including rail design, bridge collapses, exploding boilers, and burning train cars are detailed along with changes over time to reduce them. Dangers faced by railroad employees which include brakemen setting brakes by hand and holdup men robbing express man agents are covered. The show ends with the last classic train robbery in 1912 in Texas and how technology played a role in stopping it.