The narrative in this dramatic western revolves around former Confederate soldier. He is committed to revenge. It is 1865 and the construction of the biggest American railroad which will connect the most remoted parts of the country is at full blast.
Cullen Bohannon arrives to Nebraska where he settles in a small camp Hell on Wheels founded by those who take part in the building of the First Transcontinental Railroad. This small town is inhabited by many different people all connected with the company which builds the road and those who serve them. Cullen is interested in getting any information which might help him find and kill those people who raped and killed his wife. For now the most important thing he knows - they were the Union soldiers.
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