An installation by Rob Godfrey
There are nine 'trains' in Commuter and each is moving constantly up and down the installation, taking whatever route is available to get from one end to the other. There are 178 route combinations. Each train is either four or six carriages long and represents an emotional aspect of life, as follows: Joy, Sorrow, Birth, Sex, Art, Illness, Animals, Love, War. Love and War are six carriages long to represent these two strongest emotions; all the other trains are four carriages long. The trains have an individual colour and each train has sounds eminating from it to match its theme/emotion. The large size of Commuter allows these sounds to be clearly heard at different points along the installation. This effect would be lost if a smaller scale model was used. Click on the words below for sound samples (these are mp3 files and will open in your media player):
The simulations on this web site were produced using Rail3D. These simulations show only the trackwork and trains, not the rest of Commuter's structure, and are designed to model traffic flow. They are flash video (FLV) presentations and will run on most operating systems and browsers. Click on the play buttons to start the simulations. If you encounter viewing problems try refreshing the page a number of times.
The trains also have lighting effects. Each carriage body is made of translucent, injection moulded plastic, with a colour to match each train's theme. The carriage lighting is digitally controlled and will fade and brighten and go on and off in line with a train's mood at the time.
The translucent plastic carriage bodies are designed to sit on the carriage frames and can be easily lifted off for maintainence purposes. The plastic bodies make the carriages completely waterproof. The carriages are 457mm / 18" long, which at full scale is 64½ feet, a standard size commuter carriage as used by the Southern Railway Company on trains serving Charing Cross Station - click here for photos.
The nine trains contain a total of 40 carriages. All the carriages are handbuilt, with the exception of the bogies. There are 2 bogies on each carriage, giving 80 bogies in total. Each of the nine trains has one motorised bogie.