Iron Horse (TV series)

The Iron Horse (known onscreen as Iron Horse) is an American Western television series that appeared on ABC from 1966 to 1968 and featured Dale Robertson as fictional gambler-turned-railroad baron Ben Calhoun. Costars included Gary Collins, Robert Random and Ellen Burstyn (who was billed as Ellen McRae). The series pilot was released as the film Scalplock.

The Iron Horse
Cast from left: Bob Ransom, Gary Collins and Dale Robertson, 1966.
Created byJames Goldstone
Stephen Kandel
Written byStanley Adams
Oliver Crawford
Bob Duncan
Wanda Duncan
Samuel Fuller
Milton S. Gelman
Peter Germano
Stephen Kandel
Mort R. Lewis
John O'Dea
Gilbert Ralston
Arthur Rowe
George F. Slavin
Directed byLászló Benedek
Alan Crosland, Jr.
Samuel Fuller
Murray Golden
Jesse Hibbs
Herbert Hirschman
Anton Leader
Gene Nelson
Leo Penn
Herb Wallerstein
StarringDale Robertson
Robert Random
Gary Collins
Ellen Burstyn
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes47
Executive producer(s)Matthew Rapf
Charles Marquis Warren
Producer(s)Fred Freiberger
Stephen Kandel
Running time60 mins.
Production company(s)Dagonet Productions
Screen Gems
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 12, 1966 
January 6, 1968


The plot centered on Calhoun's poker game-win of the incomplete Buffalo Pass, Scalplock, & Defiance Railroad and his wide-ranging attempts to finish the line despite obstacles that were ever-present.

A running subplot was Calhoun's frequent and (for TV at that time) flagrant sexual dalliances with his many attractive female guest stars, as well as his steadier on and off arrangement with Julie Parsons, played by Ellen Burstyn. Though he was never actually shown in bed with any of them, there was little room for doubt about what was going on between scenes, and marriage was never even brought up as a possibility. The second season cut back on Calhoun's sexual exploits a bit, perhaps in response to viewer complaints.

Much of the external footage involving trains was shot on the historic Sierra Railroad in and around Jamestown and Sonora, California, and the filming was produced by Screen Gems.

Guest stars

  • Walter Maslow, as Dimas Mott in "Right of Way Through Paradise" (1966)
  • Hoyt Axton, as Slash Birney in "Right of Way Through Paradise" (1966)
  • Karen Black, as Patricia Dunne in "The Prisoners" (1967)
  • Ahna Capri, Angie in "Steel Chain to a Music Box" (1967)
  • Pat Conway, formerly Sheriff Clay Hollister on the ABC and then syndicated western, Tombstone Territory.
  • Dennis Cross as Jim Vail in "Town Full of Fear"
  • Sharon Farrell as Carrie in "The Pembrooke Blood" (1969)
  • Celia Kaye as Emily in "Decision at Sundown"
  • Don Keefer as Blake and Barbara Stuart as Lil Kane in "Sister Death" (1967)
  • Douglas Kennedy, as Adam Preston in "The Bridge at Forty-Mile" (1967), with X Brands as Juanito in the same episode
  • John M. Pickard, as Sergeant Terry in "War Cloud" and as Bulwer in "Through Ticket to Gunsight" (both 1966)
  • Judson Pratt as Brady in "Wild Track" (1967)
  • Mike Ragan as Cantley in "The Prisoners' (1967)
  • Arthur Space as Andy in "Gallows for Bill Pardew" (1967)
  • Lurene Tuttle as Mrs. Emerson in "Sister Death" (1967)
  • Michael Witney as Jared Hobson in "The Execution" (1967)
  • Tony Young appeared three times, as Shad in "No Wedding Bells for Tony" (1966), Red Shirt (uncredited) in "Hellcat" (also 1966), and as Tower in "Banner with a Strange Device (1967).

DVD release

On October 2, 2012 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment was due to release the first season of the series on DVD through an online manufacture-on-demand program via and Warner Bros, Archives, but this release has been delayed.[1]


  1. Lambert, David (July 27, 2012). "The Iron Horse - Release Date Revealed by Sony for 'The Complete 1st Season'". Archived from the original on July 30, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  • The Movie Railroads. Jensen, Larry (1981 - Darwin Publications)

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