Runaway! (1973 film)

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Directed by David Lowell Rich
Written by Gerald Di Pego
Starring Ben Johnson
Ben Murphy
Ed Nelson
Distributed by ABC
Release date(s) 1973
Running time 73 min.
Country U.S.A.
Language English

Runaway! is a 1973 film made for ABC television directed by David Lowell Rich. It is an action thriller involving skiers trapped on a runaway train speeding down a mountain. The film was produced by Universal.

The Denver & Rio Grande Western's Ski Train equipment and Rio Grande locomotives were utilized in the filming. The Ski Train served the Winter Park, Colorado ski resort area west of Denver, Colorado. Rio Grande locomotives were re-lettered for fictional Sierra Pacific.


After departing the train station at a ski facility, a passenger train begins descending a long downhill grade, only to discover that the brakes don't work, apparently frozen while at the mountain station. The train continues to gain speed, and one brakeman is lost trying to kick the frozen moisture off one section of brakes. It is anticipated that the train will derail at a sharp curve once it reaches level ground, and emergency crews stand by there. The train survives the curve and continues on toward the terminal station, where the tracks abruptly end.

A last desperate measure is tried: a locomotive will join the line after the runaway train passes, chase and latch onto the end of the train, then pull the train to a stop. Meanwhile, a young woman has decided to jump from the speeding train, and a young man tries to talk her out of it.

The chase locomotive latches on, applies brakes, but loses the connection, chases again but passes a "point of no return" at which point it should be impossible to stop the train. The chase engineer won't sit still for abandoning the runaway, and pushes his engine beyond safe limits to chase and firmly latch on as the young woman takes the hand of the young man trying to talk her into living.

The chase engine puts its full brakes on and the train comes to a halt some 20 metres from the block at the end of the track, and the family members of the passengers rush out of the train station to greet their imperiled relatives.



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