Ex-railroad man turned hobo, Larry Doyle, is given a second chance to earn an honest buck in the busy train yards of the Midwest. Doyle's benefactor, tough-as-nails rail boss Dan Thorn, is convinced that the unwashed vagabond is, at heart, actually a proud, hard-working man. Things work out well until Doyle falls for Thorn's fiancÃ©e, Mary Ryan. A showdown between the two men in a dark, rain-drenched switching yard ends in tragedy when Thorn is struck down by a speeding locomotive. His severe head injury requires emergency surgery, but the nearest hospital is 100 miles away in Chicago. Thorn's only hope lies with his rival, Larry Doyle, who volunteers to break all rail speed records in a last-ditch effort to save his boss' life.