Banker William Sharon becomes desperate that his gold and silver shipments from Carson City to Virginia City are the helpless targets of a band of outlaws called "The Champagne Bandits." In true Robin Hood-fashion, after robbing the stage of its bullion, they treat its passengers to a fried chicken picnic replete with champagne. Sharon becomes convinced that the only way to foil the gang is to build a railroad to carry the ore, but that will take an extraordinary engineer in such mountainous territory. Sharon finds his man in brawling adventurer Jeff Kincaid, an experienced hand at difficult jobs and former resident of Carson City who knows the difficult terrain very well. It becomes a reunion of sorts as Kincaid's half brother works for the local newspaper, but they soon become rivals for the affections of Susan Mitchell, the publisher's daughter. Kincaid also has to fight the town's hostility to his boisterous railhands and ongoing efforts by the outlaws to sabotage the project.