Galvin and the CEO's hopes of saving the day without a derailment fail when Frank's friend dies in his overturned engine, attempting to slow it down from the front, and the young soldier winched down from the chopper is badly injured.
Disobeying orders, and risking their lives, Frank knows that the planned derailment will fail as the engine is going too fast and is too heavy. They are gaining on the bigger train.
State troopers shoot at the tiny emergency stop button, next to the fuel tanks, but miss. The derailment device on the track fails.
The good guys catch up to the train. They couple both together, but Will damages his foot in the process. They switch roles when it doesn't immediately work to slow the runaway train down enough. Frank gets out, jumps onto the last train car and manually starts to turn the brakes on each one.
They slow just enough to make it past the curved track outside Stanton, but then the brakes blow on Will's train. They start to pick up speed again.
Frank can't make it towards the engine room - when suddenly the hippie guy in the red truck FINALLY shows up. Will jumps into the truck, they drive up to the front engine. Will jumps out, and sets the brakes manually. The train slows down. The girls in Hooters jump around.
Why didn't they do that at the beginning??? Or at least try to do it using somebody other than Dewey and his pal.
Frank and Will attend an award ceremony, where the hippie guy seems to take the credit for everything, and answers questions on behalf of the company, which makes no sense.
We're told that Frank was promoted and later retired. Will was also promoted and got back together again with his wife. The young soldier was unharmed. Galvin was fired - Connie was promoted to replace him. While Dewey (Randy from 'My Name is Earl') was held responsible and fired, and now works in the fast food industry.