Runaway Express (1926)

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Writer Frank Spearman was famous for his railroad stories, so Universal was wise to use one of them (The Nerve of Foley) to make this intense melodrama. While the plot itself was nothing exceptional, the climax was as thrilling as they come. Engineer Joseph Foley (Jack Daugherty) is in competition with Sandy McPherson (Tom O'Brien) to run the Limited. Foley lands the job, but McPherson knocks him out so he can take his place. McPherson, however, has an even more evil brother, an outlaw by the name of Blackie (William A. Steele). Blackie is planning on robbing a gold shipment on the train, so he drugs the engineer, not realizing it's his brother. He also causes the dam to break and it washes out the bridge on the Limited's route. The unmanned train heads for destruction, and on board are Foley's mother (Madge Hunt) and the girl in the story (Blanche Mehaffey) -- plus the gold shipment. Foley comes to and races a horse alongside the train. At the last minute he leaps aboard the engine and stops the train at the precipice.