A FRIENDLY disagreement on Twitter spawned a race between a $78,000 sports car and an Amtrak express train.
If only every Twitter debate could be so productive.
Road vs. Rails chronicled the 440-mile journey yesterday of Amtrak's high-speed Acela and a 2014 Porsche Panamara from Boston to Washington, D.C., on social media.
Transit advocate and graphicmachine partner Matt Staub traveled for Team Train while car enthusiast and eCommerce manager Kris Nielsen drove for Team Porsche.
Staub and Nielsen initiated the car vs. train race last year after connecting on Twitter. That contest pitted a luxury sedan vs. Amtrak's Southwest Chief between Kansas City and Chicago. The sedan won by just eight minutes.
This year's rematch kicked off at 8:45 a.m. yesterday at Boston's South Station. Online spectators followed the race on RoadvsRails.com, interacting with the contestants on Twitter along the way.
When Team Train approached the New Jersey border about 12:30 p.m., Staub's co-worker Brian Jones tweeted a photo of the cast of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" at Staub. "Don't be afraid if this is what you see when you appear from the tunnel," Jones wrote. "It's totally normal."
The Porsche, on the New Jersey Turnpike, enjoyed a 25-minute lead over the train as the teams traveled through South Jersey and Philadelphia.
Team Train reached the North Philadelphia Amtrak stop about 2:25 p.m. and posted a photo of the Philly skyline shortly after. Staub checked into 30th Street Station using the app Swarm at 2:30 p.m.
While the train was passing through Philly, Staub tweeted a photo of his Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA beer and wrote: "I'm hoping #TeamPorsche doesn't have this on board perk. #RoadVsRails"
Team Porsche's passenger Josh Coleman tweeted this cheeky response: "no but you can buy us one in DC when we win ;-) #TeamPorsche #RoadVsRails."
However, Team Train caught up when Team Porsche hit traffic around Baltimore, securing a victory for Staub. After Team Train arrived at Union Station, viewers could follow Staub's live feed of him racing on foot to the finish line, the Ulysses S. Grant statue across from the U.S. Capitol, about six blocks from the station.