trains

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Amazing Design Photography

You Can Now Explore the World’s Largest Train Set Using Google Street View

January 22, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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If you’re ever in Hamburg, Germany, be sure to join the million annual visitors who stop by Miniatur Wunderland, the largest continuous train set in the world. The huge train set fills several large rooms and contains over 8 miles of tracks that move 900 trains through themed dioramas of cities and other locations around the world like Scandinavia, Hamburg, Bavaria, and Switzerland. If you can’t make it Hamburg, here’s the next best thing: Google just photographed the entire thing and shared it on Google Street View so you can explore it from the perspective of a teeny tiny person.

Google recorded 9 areas of the Miniatur Wunderland system from multiple angles, and you can drop in just like on Google Maps and explore everything at a 360° angle. Watch the video below to get a better sense of how this whole thing is setup. (via Visual News)

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Art Craft

A Carved Graphite Train on Tracks Emerges from Inside a Carpenter’s Pencil

December 27, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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All photos courtesy Cindy Chinn

We’ve seen a number of artists working with pencil leads over the last few years, where the narrow dimensions of graphite are carved into minuscule objects. This recent piece by Nebraska-based artist Cindy Chinn is particularly ingenious, an entire carpenter’s pencil is turned into a tiny train, trestle, and bridge. “This piece was designed using straight lead pieces for the rails, with the tiny carved train placed and securely glued on top of the rails,” Chinn shares. “The train engine is only 3/16″ of an inch tall. The pencil is 5-5/8″ long and mounted in a wood shadowbox frame as shown in the photos.”

You can see more of Chinn’s pencil carving work on her website and on Etsy. See more pencil carving fun from Salavat Fidai, Diem Chau, and Dalton Ghetti. (via Laughing Squid)

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Art Design

A Hypnotic Infinite Model Train Loop that Travels Rapidly in Either Direction

August 19, 2015

Christopher Jobson

Model train enthusiast James Risner decided to turn several toy locomotive sets into a contemporary kinetic art installation of sorts by creating an infinite loop. The seven linked trains can travel forward or backward at surprisingly quick speed, creating a hypnotic spiral of of motion. I wonder if this could be scaled to a Metropolis II level? (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Design Science

How to Build the World’s Simplest Electric Train

December 1, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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The AmazingScience YouTube channel demonstrates how to build a ridiculously simple electric “train” with the help of a few magnets, a battery, and a copper coil. You can also use the same materials to build a little spinning motor-like contraption. (via Twisted Sifter)

 

 



History Photography

By the Silent Line: Photographer Pierre Folk Spent Years Documenting a Vanishing 160-Year-Old Parisian Railway

August 21, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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The Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture (French for “little belt railway”) was a 32 km railway that encircled Paris, connecting all the major railway stations within fortified walls during the Industrial Revolution. In service from 1852 to 1934, the line has now been partially abandoned for 80 years.

Several developers and local officials have recently set their sights on the vast swath of unused land, tunnels, and stations as an opportunity for new development. However, some railway enthusiasts and related organizations want the tracks and stations to be preserved indefinitely as part of the cities’ heritage. Others want to turn areas of de Petite Ceinture into parkways similar to the nearby Promenade plantée, a 4.7 km park built on an elevated train track in 1988 that later inspired New York’s famous High Line.

As part of his project “By the Silent Line,” photographer Pierre Folk has been working since 2011 to photograph the 160-year-old railway’s last remnants before any final decisions are made. He stalks the tracks at all times of the year, often returning to the same locations to document nature’s slow reclamation as rusted tracks and crumbling tunnels are swallowed by trees, vines, and grass. This is just a small selection of Folk’s work, you can see many more photos right here.

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Art

Colorful Street Art on the Train Tracks of Portugal by Artur Bordalo

July 21, 2014

Johnny Waldman

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If the artwork is on train tracks, is it still called street art? Rail art? Either way, we’re loving this series by Portuguese artist Artur Bordalo in which he cleverly converts the horizontal lines of train tracks into a canvas. The series, which have been popping up on railways throughout Portugal since early this year, often use bright, neon colors which create a nice contrast between the dull gray rocks and tracks. Each work is accompanied by subtle titles that can be playful but also harbor critical or cynical undertones.

The artist also goes by the moniker Bordalo II, an apparent ode to his grandfather whom he saw “painting the city of Lisbon.” You can see more of his work over on his website or Facebook page. (via Laughing Squid)

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Art Design

Modern Ruins: An Artist’s Vehicle Designed to Traverse 9,000 Kilometers of Abandoned Railways in Mexico

June 20, 2014

Johnny Waldman

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All images courtesy the artists and the Arts Catalyst

What do you do with the abandoned railways that once held the promise of trans-continental linkage and progress? Some have converted them into tourist-friendly pathways. But Mexican artists and brothers Ivan Puig (previously) and Andrés Padilla Domene decided to traverse the nearly 9,000 km of railway in Mexico and Ecuador that, in 1995, was abandoned and left to decay. But they didn’t travel in any old fashion. In a project that ran from 2010 to 2012 the artists rode in a striking silver road-rail vehicle called SEFT-1, which they designed and built themselves so as to travel both on rail and road.

The multi-year journey, which was documented online, explored abandoned rail but also the notion of modern ruins, and “how the ideology of progress is imprinted onto historic landscapes.” (via Hyperallergic)

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