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Hell on Wheels



Created by

Tony Gayton


Phil Burke

No. of Seasons


No. of Episodes





Hell on Wheels Wiki

Hell on Wheels is an American Western television series created and produced by Joe and Tony Gayton. Set in 1865, the series centers on the settlement that accompanied the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, referred to as "Hell on Wheels" by the company men, surveyors, support workers, laborers, prostitutes, mercenaries and others who make the mobile encampment their home. It stars Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon, a former Confederate soldier who works as a foreman on the railroad as he tries to track down the Union soldiers who murdered his wife and young son.

The series is broadcast in the United States and Canada on the cable channel AMC and premiered on November 6, 2011. It was developed by Endemol USA, under the stewardship of senior vice-president of scripted programming Jeremy Gold, and is produced by Entertainment One and Nomadic Pictures. On December 23, 2011, AMC renewed Hell on Wheels for a second season. The second season premiered on August 12, 2012.



  • Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon, a former Confederate soldier who is determined to avenge the death of his wife, Mary.
  • Colm Meaney as Thomas "Doc" Durant, a businessman and investor in the transcontinental railroad, where he hopes to make his fortune.

Common as Elam Ferguson, a recently freed slave who is trying to find his place in the world.

  • Dominique McElligott as Lily Bell, a recent widow; her husband was a surveyor working on the transcontinental rail project.
  • Tom Noonan as Reverend Cole, a minister who formerly participated in Bleeding Kansas prior to the Civil War; he is sick of the slaughter and wants to help the whites and Indians avoid another war.
  • Eddie Spears as Joseph Black Moon, a Cheyenne who must choose between the new world and the traditions of his ancestors.
  • Ben Esler as Sean McGinnes, a young Irishman looking to make his fortune in the West.
  • Phil Burke as Mickey McGinnes, Sean's brother, who, like his brother, is looking to make money.


  • Christopher Heyerdahl as Thor Gundersen, also known as "the Swede", despite being Norwegian. Durant's head of security until season 2; now Hell on Wheels' undertaker/custodian.
  • Robin McLeavy as Eva
  • Kasha Kropinski as Ruth, Reverend Cole's daughter
  • April Telek as Nell
  • James D. Hopkins as Senator Jordan Crane
  • Duncan Ollerenshaw as Mr. Toole
  • Wes Studi as Chief Many Horses

Series overviewEdit

Season one (2011–2012)Edit


In 1865, a former Confederate soldier, Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) journeys to the Union Pacific Railroad's westward construction of the first transcontinental railroad to seek work and vengeance on the Union soldiers that have killed his wife and son. Cullen gets hired by the railroad and supervises an all-black "cut crew," one of which is Elam (Common), to prepare the terrain for track laying. Through conversation, Cullen learns more about his wife's death from railroad foreman Daniel Johnson (Ted Levine), who knows the name of her murderer. But tragedy strikes before this name is given. Thomas "Doc" Durant (Colm Meaney) begins his "mad, noble quest" to expand his Union Pacific Railroad westward in order complete the transcontinental railroad. Lily Bell (Dominique McElligott), accompanies her ailing husband Robert (Robert Moloney) as he surveys the landscape for the Union Pacific. Robert is killed by the Cheyenne natives and Lily must cope with being a widow on foreign soil. Reverend Nathaniel Cole (Tom Noonan) baptizes Joseph Black Moon (Eddie Spears), a Cheyenne, then takes him under his tutelage in the church. Season one ends with Bohannon killing a man who he believes was responsible for the rape and murder of his wife only to find out that the man was not there at the time and that he had killed the wrong man.

Season two (2012)Edit

On December 23, 2011, AMC renewed Hell on Wheels for a second season. The second season premiered Sunday August 12, 2012 at 9/8c on AMC.