Hell on Wheels tells the epic story of post-Civil War America, focusing on a Confederate soldier (Mount) who sets out to exact revenge on the Union soldiers who have killed his wife. His journey takes him west to Hell on Wheels, a dangerous, raucous, lawless melting pot of a town that travels with and services the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, an engineering feat unprecedented for its time.
A former confederate soldier journeys to the transcontinental railroad to seek vengeance.
Lily encounters natives in the wilderness. Cullen is questioned in regards to his recent actions against others. Meanwhile, Durant continues his push for political gain through his persuasions.
When Lily goes missing, Durant organizes a search party. A subsidiary request prevents Cullen from his continued search for the sergeant involved in the murder of his wife.
Cullen's search for the sergeant nears its end; Durant keeps to his hidden agenda while assisting in Lily's recuperation.
A bare-knuckle brouhaha between Elam and Cullen is spurred by Durant's latest attempt to deal with the railroad's financial crisis.
Durant challenges the Cheyenne to a competition in an effort to bring a halt to ongoing negotiations. Meanwhile, Elam and Cullen try to prevent bloodshed in town.
With Elam's life in the balance, Cullen must decide how much he’s willing to risk. Meanwhile Durant faces financial ruin as Lily confronts the family of her late husband.
Durant dispatches Cullen and Elam on a mission of vengeance. Lily struggles to find her place.
A looming railroad deadline throws Cullen and Lily together; Joseph and Elam deal with what their violent mission has wrought.
In the Season 1 finale, Cullen's past and future collide, impacting his life on the railroad.
In the Season 2 premiere, Durant and Lily steer the railroad further west, while Cullen and Elam land on opposite sides of the law.
Durant confronts a formidable threat to the rolling city, while a horrific crime leads Lily and Elam to join forces in order to attain justice.
Cullen struggles to maintain order while Mickey's and Sean's lives are endangered; Lily and Elam clean up a mess of their own doing.
A tragedy leads Cullen to defuse an internal threat to the railroad.
Cullen's past catches up with him and threatens the fate of the railroad.
Despite fighting to save his own life, Durant must try to keep the railroad from going under. Meanwhile, Cullen comes to the aid of an old comrade.
In the aftermath of tragedy, Lily and Cullen struggle to maintain order in Hell on Wheels. Meanwhile, Elam makes plans for the future.
A new arrival stirs things up in Hell on Wheels, while Eva gets caught between Elam and Mr. Toole.
After a hard winter, Cullen and Elam travel to New York to secure their positions on the railroad as Durant fights for his legacy from prison.
Cullen and Elam search for their stolen food on the prairie; a stranger's arrival threatens Elam's family.
Cullen and Elam try to secure a new lumber source following a railroad accident; Durant tells Louise a secret about Cullen.
Cullen helps Elam track down a dangerous criminal; the town prepares to move down the tracks.
Durant files an injunction against Union Pacific, threatening Cullen's position; Elam deals with a dangerous newcomer.
When a cholera epidemic hits Hell on Wheels, Cullen must find fresh water before his workers die. Durant faces political fallout.
After his workers defect to the Mormons, Cullen recruits Durant to help get them back. Meanwhile, Sean and Mickey's past comes back to haunt them.
With General Grant's deadline only two days away, a gang of riders attacks Cheyenne while Cullen and Elam pay Durant a visit.
Cullen awaits the birth of his baby, laboring under The Swede's thumb at Fort Smith. Durant deals with the fallout from a railroad accident.
As Cullen plans an exit from Fort Smith, he challenges The Swede; when a new adversary arrives, Cheyenne feels his presence.
Cullen goes back to work on the railroad and butts heads with his new boss. Durant and Campbell battle over a valuable piece of real estate.
Cullen deals with trouble at home as he takes railroad matters into his own hands. Campbell makes a move against Durant and Mickey.
Cullens's family is at risk when a stranger arrives, stirring up old feelings; The Swede faces the consequences.
Following an attack by a bear, Elam struggles to survive in a Comanche village and find his way back to Cheyenne.
Cullen attempts to reconnect with Elam upon his return. Durant takes matters into his own hands while putting an old problem to rest.
Cullen makes a decision to ensure his family's safety. Campbell hires a new federal marshal to clean up the streets.
Cullen goes head to head with the new marshal to recover his arrested railroad workers. Campbell confronts Louise over a story.
Cullen, Durant, and Campbell try to negotiate a settlement on how the streets will be policed; an act of terror strikes Cheyenne.
Cullen and Durant work to save the life of a criminal; Louise supports Ruth as she copes with a loss.
Cullen grapples with Ruth's unexpected decision; Louise jeopardizes her reputation to fight for a story she believes in.
Cullen is in California with the Central Pacific Railroad, and must deal with the new workers.
Cullen and Fong find themselves in peril as they transport a locomotive over the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Swede gains Phineas' trust.
Cullen solves a Chinese labor strike in the wake of violence. Meanwhile, Durant pulls Mickey deeper into Union Pacific business.
Unexpected violence erupts in Chinatown during the festival of Tin Hau Don; Cullen confronts the Swede; and Durant involves Maggie in his latest scheme.
Cullen and Mei escort precious cargo through the California wilderness; Eva nurses Louise back to health.
The Swede's murderous rampage on the Hatch homestead results in a long overdue showdown with Cullen.
Cullen faces life-changing decisions in Utah as Truckee adapts to life without him.
Cullen's nitroglycerin experiment provides an explosive backdrop for the railroad life in Truckee. Durant's plan turns deadly.
Durant's plot to ransom himself takes an unexpected turn when Campbell arrives in town with the Cavalry to coordinate a rescue operation.
Chang force Mei to leave Truckee after discovering her secret; Cullen exorcises some old demons during his search.
The race to finish the railroad comes down to inches, forcing all parties to contemplate the end of the line, and what the future holds for them.
The golden spike, government hearings and unpredictable actions mean new beginnings and endings for the survivors.
Cullen contends with violence in Chinatown set off by disgruntled railroad workers. Meanwhile, the Swede manipulates Phineas in his plot against the Mormons.