Boarding the Snowpiercer was a matter of money for the rich and a matter of courage and luck for the poor. In trying to stowaway, many Tailies lost their families and their lives.
Seven years later, the Tailies scrounge for survival while the rich live in luxury.
In The Tail, the rations have been cut again and Layton and Pike and others conspire as to how they might be able to fight their way uptrain and take control of some of the systems. However, when they are prepared to attack, Layton is called on by Hospitality's representative Ruth and taken out of The Tail.
There has been a murder in Third Class and Melanie Cavill, the Head of Hospitality, and Brakeman Roche want Layton to solve it. There was a similar murder two years previously but the person they thought was the murderer was put in the "Drawers" in a medically-induced coma and is still there so they could not have committed the crime.
Layton is fed a proper meal in Third Class and then taken to interrogate the suspects, one of whom is his ex, Zarah, who left The Tail five years ago to work in the Night Car.
He travels uptrain over a hundred cars and sees the agriculture, the Chains, and the mess hall. He is offered Third Class accommodations and the position of Train Detective if he takes the case. He refuses to commit.
Back in The Tail, Old Ivan celebrates his birthday and asks for an hour of privacy. While listening to his favorite musical piece, he hangs himself with an electrical cord.
When the guards come to remove the body, the Tailies attack.
Layton comes back to The Tail to defuse the situation. The Tailies have Brakeman Till as a hostage but Layton knocks her out and convinces Pike and his men to surrender themselves to the Drawers to lie in wait for Layton's signal to rise up.
Cavill retires at the end of the day to take dinner to Mr. Wilford. She changes out of her uniform and enters the Engine Car where she takes over the controls from Engineer Ben who envies her dinner and addresses her as "Mr. Wilford".