Car vs train across the United States
A modern, decidedly Top Gear homage to the great Blue Train races: a head-to-head between Amtrak and a Bentley Continental...
Posted: 19 Dec 2012
I remember fields of sick-looking corn - there's been a decent drought across this part of the US in recent months - and I remember the sheer, brain-melting monotony of driving an almost-silent, super-comfortable, near-200mph-capable Bentley Continental at 65mph through an entire night, almost exclusively in a straight line. One section of the I-80 Westbound between Des Moines and Omaha is 70 miles dead straight. At one point, I prayed for death. Just to have something to do.
Dan and I do shifts at the wheel while the other tries to sleep. Ottumwa, Osceola, Creston, Omaha, Lincoln, Hastings, Holdrege and McCook are ticked off in sequence. Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska all falling beneath the veil of the night of the long drag. Somewhere around 5.30am, we stop for more fuel and discover a brew called Triple Black Coffee, which apparently contains up to 40 per cent more caffeine than regular java. I time-check the train. Amtrak Marc tells me it's due into a place called Fort Morgan at 5.45am, and that it'll be there for six minutes. Idly, I flick through the map to find out how far behind we are, too tired to really care.