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I like trains
May 9, 2009 11:20 PM   Subscribe

Paintings of trains. I like the energy of this one, but there are enough for everyone to have a favorite.

Have you ever wondered how diesel locomotives work? Want to read an essay about the role of railways in music? Or maybe you just want to curl up with your laptop to read an entertaining book about trains.

Or, if the paintings and the book aren't your thing, how about the Library of Congress? They have lots of train pictures. I like this one.

Today is the 140th anniversary of the completion* of the North American transcontinental railroad! Hurrah for trains!

* see previously for why this isn't a wholly accurate statement.
posted by winna (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 


train i ride... sixteen coaches long!
train i ride... sixteen coaches long!
well that long black train
got my baby and gone
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:01 AM on May 10, 2009


No pointillism? They don't take their trainspotting seriously, then.
posted by adipocere at 12:06 AM on May 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


John Ruskin loved Turner.

I have to agree.

This is a Turneresque photo from the train collection.
posted by winna at 12:32 AM on May 10, 2009


I'm partial to a bit of railway art. The station near my work has a booking hall that's pretty much a feature of the olden days. The walls are adorned with old time tables, signalling diagrams, a copies of a Victorian Railways staff magazine- and great images of steam engines and early electrics. A few months ago some utter turd tagged each picture with his heavy illiterate spray can. They remained like that for a month or so, then they were removed. I was saddened by this, as- well this is why we can't have nice things, and I kinda felt that that what that. Then, a couple of weeks ago they were returned fully restored. In this age of minimum service and the public good be damned- I am heartened.

Rail enthusiasts - 1 Glue sniffing yobs - nil
posted by mattoxic at 1:16 AM on May 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like this one, from a show I reviewed last year. There's something really terrifying about it.
posted by nasreddin at 1:16 AM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


(It's more effective when you see it in person--it takes up most of a gallery wall.)
posted by nasreddin at 1:18 AM on May 10, 2009


That painting is amazing. Does it convey the same sense of implacable decay in person? I'm having trouble deciding if it's a train painted at sunrise or a rusting old hulk abandoned in a sideyard.
posted by winna at 1:27 AM on May 10, 2009


Earlier this year I watched a documentary about the end of steam trains in the UK. It featured the artist David Shepherd (who is more well-known for his wildlife paintings, particularly African wildlife) who went around painting the old trains for reference before they vanished for ever. I remember him saying that a lot of steam train paintings, because they are based on idealised romantic notions of trains, don't capture the faded shabbiness of the actual working trains of the time.

You can see some of his paintings here (scroll down)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:01 AM on May 10, 2009


If you need some really bad late 70's TV to help you get excited about the forthcoming "High Speed" Rail Stimulus while simultaneously celebrating the anniversary of the transcontinental railroad, then I would direct you to Supertrain as discovered by infrastructurist.

I made it about 6 minutes in. Best of luck.
posted by _aa_ at 5:13 AM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


1chan
posted by knowles at 7:50 AM on May 10, 2009


I came in here wanting to post that JMW Turner painting. The first comment had it already :/ Gotta love MeFi.
posted by flippant at 8:06 AM on May 10, 2009


Love it.
posted by dame at 9:55 AM on May 10, 2009


That painting is amazing. Does it convey the same sense of implacable decay in person? I'm having trouble deciding if it's a train painted at sunrise or a rusting old hulk abandoned in a sideyard.

Considering Guotai's other work, it's definitely rusting. He's a very bleak painter.
posted by nasreddin at 1:59 PM on May 10, 2009


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