Controversy first arose when the French-owned and Montgomery County, Maryland -based Keolis (already operating Virginia Railway Express trains) was the only bidder for the contract. The bidding process was suspended in the fall of 2010 due to lack of competition. Before bidding reopened in 2011, Maryland passed a law (at the request of Leo Bretholz and other Holocaust survivors) requiring Keolis's majority owner, SNCF (currently solely owned by the French government)  to fully disclose its role in transporting Jews to concentration camps during World War II (while SNCF was under control of the Nazi government), to the satisfaction of the Maryland state archivist, before Keolis would be allowed to place a bid for MARC service. Keolis faced similar issues while bidding for VRE operations in 2009, but in the end, they were allowed to run VRE.
Seal Team Commander Casey Ryback has retired from the Navy since the conclusion of the events in the first movie, and is now a chef at the Mile High Cafe in Denver, Colorado. Ryback is taking his niece Sarah Ryback on vacation, to reconnect and commiserate with her after the death of her parents. They board a train traveling westbound through the Rocky Mountains from Denver to LA. With the help of gun-for-hire Marcus Penn a couple dozen of his mercenaries, ex-CIA brain (and mentally unstable) Travis Dane commandeers the train, takes the passengers and crew hostage, and sets up a mobile control center. He hacks into the CIA database and gains control of a Top-Secret defence satellite he designed during his Agency days that has just been deployed. Funded by various foreign interests, he stands to make 1 billion dollars for using the space weapon to blow up the Eastern seaboard by targeting a nuclear reactor housed beneath the Pentagon. Dane taunts the Joint Chiefs in the Pentagon ... Written by Angus Brewer