Cast & Crew
Jed Carson, owner of the Moon Valley Short Line Railroad, has to file for bankruptcy because of competition from corrupt trucking firm owner Armstong. The receiver now in charge of the railroad's financial matters, Laurence Doyle, visits the office and finds himself unwelcome due to his cost-cutting measures. Larry convinces Jed's granddaughter Kay to attempt to regain the railroad's customers, who were lured away by Armstrong's faster service and lower rates. They successfully persuade farmers Beasley and Jones that the railroad's refrigerated cars will preserve their produce better on the run to the nearby town of Paradise, but that night, Armstrong's heavy, Stymie, wrecks one of the cars and sprays the contents of another with gasoline. The next day, when Armstong discovers that Larry has obtained a new ruling from the Interstate Commerce Commission that the railroad can meet the truckers' lower rates, he gets Larry into trouble with Jed by stating that he is responsible for Larry's appointment as receiver. Larry refuses to knuckle under to Armstrong, however, and asks engineer Tom Wilson to cut the railroad's traveling time to Paradise by two hours, so that they can get a crucial contract from the Farmers' Cooperative. The following Saturday, Tom attempts to set the necessary speed record, but Stymie sabotages the tracks and Tom is killed in the resulting crash. Shortly after, Armstrong's supervisor, Glover, incites the angry railroad workers into accusing Larry of murdering Tom through negligence. Jed himself sticks up for Larry, and proves to the mob that Larry took every precaution possible. The mob cheers Jed and Larry, and all seems to be going well until the day when the farmers' contract is to be awarded. Stymie kidnaps Larry to prevent him from attending the meeting, and although Jed attempts to submit a bid to the farmers himself, only Larry can officially submit the bid because the railroad is in receivership. Larry escapes, arrives at the meeting in time to prevent the farmers from awarding the contract to Armstrong, and gets the farmers to agree to give the contract to the company that wins a race to Paradise. On the day of the race, the train is in the lead until it needs to stop for engine water, and Larry discovers that Stymie has broken the valve of the water tank, thereby preventing the train from taking on water. While Jed captures Stymie, Larry hits upon the idea of using ice from the refrigerator cars in place of the water. Larry's idea works, and the train beats the trucks to Paradise. Once there, the farmers award the contract to Larry, and Jed tricks Armstrong and Glover into admitting their guilt. The culprits are arrested and taken away, and Jed smiles approvingly as Kay and Larry embrace.
Allan Vaughan Elston
Sol C. Siegel
According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, the title of Allan Vaughan Elston and Paul Perez's original story was "Steam." Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety news items note that Karen DeWolf was signed to work on the film's script, and that the following actors were to be in the cast: Budd Fine, Jack Smith, Earl Dwire, Dirk Thane, Fred Spencer, Jack Cheatham, Frank Austin, Stanley Mack, Martin Faust, Roscoe Gerall, Jack Kirk and Henry Morris. Their participation in the completed film has not been confirmed.