Tom Cruise isn’t the only one gunning for hyper-realism in the long-running action franchise; writer-director Christopher McQuarrie also spoke about trying to nail the train scene, a seemingly herculean task that involved actually building a usable train from scratch. “There was not a surplus of trains available to be wrecked,” he shared. “We had to build the train if we wanted to destroy it.” McQuarrie called the practical shoot “extremely challenging.” Aside from the actual day-of concerns with getting the action just right, his team had to “design all of the different train carts that could function on a real train track.”
According to Calciano, the shoot involved a massive amount of wind in order to simulate the real conditions atop a speeding train. “We were generating wind from these … when you’re training for parachuting, they have these big fans that blow up, and you float around,” the producer explained. “We were trying to get as much wind as possible, and we were using those giant wind fans, all being tunneled into a small thing” to replicate what it might be like within the real Channel Tunnel. Cruise is famous for requesting filmmaking that’s as true-to-life as possible during his stunts, and this was no exception. “I think we were doing research that I think the train reached 150 miles an hour, and he was like, ‘I want it to be real. I want it to be 150 miles an hour,'” Calciano recalled.