Season 1, Episode 2


Ed and Marcus must stay on track and attach rail cars to a 142-ton locomotive and drive it into town -- all without losing their caboose.

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Marcus and Ed arrive at the Orange Empire Railway Museum. Two train operators, J.R. and Tom, greet the pair and explain what the challenge will be: To start up the 3100 -- a 142-ton locomotive that’s 2500 horsepower, and the only one in existence that still works -- then pick up a freight car, a flat car and a caboose, attach them all together, and drive the completed train into town in under three hours.

Before the challenge begins, Marcus and Ed must pass a test: Drive a streetcar into a barn in under five minutes. The pair decides that whoever finishes fastest gets to be the 3100's engineer. Marcus hops into his streetcar and, looking at the manual, quickly figures out how to start it. Marcus almost beats Ed to the barn, be he's switched the railroad ties incorrectly and his streetcar drives onto the wrong track. Ed parks his streetcar in the barn and runs to help Marcus. With two seconds to spare, both cars are parked and Ed wins the test.

Ed talks to Tom and his staff for advice on "coupling" -- hooking train cars together. Marcus chats separately with J.R. about how to start the 3100, which he’s been reading the manual on. J.R. advises Marcus to push the layshaft (an accelerator) only after the engine picks up speed.

The following day, J.R. and Tom give Marcus and Ed three hours to complete their main challenge. Marcus boards an electric switch engine and couples it with the caboose. Shortly after, the caboose detaches and starts rolling at a high speed down the track. “I’ve got a runaway caboose!” yells Marcus. Ed chases after the caboose and hops on it. Over a radio, Marcus instructs Ed to pull a lever and turn the wheel on the back of the caboose to activate the breaks. Ed stops the caboose just before the track runs out. Marcus realizes he didn’t properly connect the air hose on the caboose, causing it to break loose. The mistake costs the pair 30 minutes.

Marcus picks up the boxcar while Ed picks up the flat car. Ed fails to give Marcus the right of way on the track and their two cars almost collide, delaying them further. With only 30 minutes left, the guys finally pick up the 3100. Ed boards the locomotive and is overwhelmed by “all these buttons and bells and whistles and the dials and gauges.” Marcus helps Ed figure out the switches and instructs him how to operate the layshaft. The locomotive starts up successfully and they start to drive the train into town.

Marcus and Ed drive the 3100 to their final destination without further delays but get there three minutes late. Tom informs them that they've failed the challenge and, “I’m personally glad you didn’t make it.” Marcus says, “At least we got to drive trains.” Ed chastises Tom for giving them a hard time all day and says Tom must not have been hugged as a child. Ed gives Tom a hug and they all laugh.