Video spot of the planning of Train Time. Directed by Gregor Kuschmirz. (Can be watched here)

The journey around the proposed sitting of the tracks starts in Recklinghausen (DE) where a pole with the sign 00:00 is nailed down in the place where the train will start. A small celebration with music, authorities, professionals and friends. Two artists get in the car and leave.


How to proceed?


The Disquisition about the magnitude of the project and how to start big enterprises, for artists, engineers, politicians...

A pole with the sign 01:00 is nailed down at this point near Kassel (DE) where the train will pass at 1 o'clock.


Who is this guy, anyway?


The project needs the endorsement of the art world and in order to get it the artist has to legitimize himself as an artist. A reflection on the mechanics of the art scene and how to get a position on it.

A psychiatrist explains about the differences between disturbed people and geniuses, about how creativity has been misinterpreted in history and about the pathological aspects of “megalomania” and “delusion”.

A portrait of Brian "Fitzcarraldo" Fitzgerald, the main character in Werner Herzog’s film, who is an example of megalomaniac project and conflictive personality, but rather creative.

An explanation of Wagner’s idea of “gesamtkunstwerk”, total art work, and a tour around the opera sites at Bayreuth (DE).

A pole with the sign 02:00 is nailed down at this point near Bayreuth where the train will pass at 2 o’clock.


What’s the importance of the project?


Does the vision of the artist have any value? The next step is to state clearly the need for actual realization of the project, to inform and convince those who eventually will be affected by the construction and those from which financial and technical support will be necessary.

TTZZ is a “megaproject”, besides the enormous costs, it has substantial impact on communities, environment and budgets.

Is there any possibility that an art work is important enough to justify transformations of this kind and dimension? Can art be constrained by economic financial limitations? Does architecture have the right of creating landmarks without practical function? What interests are served by public projects?

Here we discuss the goals of the project as a prestige symbol of Europe, as a landmark, as an engineering and scientific experimentation playground, as a booster of the economy and as a tourist attraction.

A pole with the sign 03:00 will be nailed down at this point near Munich where the train will pass at 3 o’clock.


Have similar things ever been done?


Feasibility of the project is stated by showing other similar projects successfully culminated. Also are presented some that have failed, to understand better the way a project like this has to be managed.

Catch Me Who Can was a circular train/fair attraction that features the first steam engine built in 1808 in England.

Many artists of all times have been working with time or have created large scale works. Here we present and interview some of the authors.

In this chapter, also are introduced circular engineering projects of all times, like the Coliseum, Stonehenge, and the CERN. A description will be given of the unrealized project in Tindaya (Canary Islands) by Eduardo Chillida, who until now failed in hollowing out a mountain for mystic purposes.

A pole with the sign 04:00 is nailed down at this point near Bolzano where the train will pass at 4 o’clock.


How to fund it?


The realization of Train Time requires a big amount of money. How are civil engineering works or art works funded?

A gallery owner explains how singular art works are produced and sold, how expensive can be to build and buy those art works. Museum staff from the cities the train crosses though explain their policy for producing art works.

European Union or local governments could be interested in seeing Train Time realized for symbolic and economic reasons.

PR companies explain the mechanics of private sponsoring and how corporations could be interested in using TTZZ as a vehicle for their brand image. Watch makers, train manufacturers, construction firms, train operators are in the fields that Train Time tackles and have in many cases programmes for art sponsoring .

Many companies will make profit if the project is realized, those who get commissions for the construction or the financial agents of the operation. Ways to encourage funding bodies to collaborate are explained, including those that involve bribing and corruption.

A pole with the sign 05:00 will be nailed down at this point near Piacenza where the train will pass at 5 o’clock.


The siting of the tracks


The track line is drawn in the middle of Europe: a circle of perimeter 2400 km, a balanced composition taking in account the distance to the sea in Genoa, Venice, Calais and Rotterdam.

Money can be just not enough: to expropriate all this land the train crosses will bring a lot of legal, patrimonial, social and ecological problems.

How are land acquisitions and the environmental problems managed? How did they deal with it at the American transcontinental lines or in the new Chinese high speed train network?

The train will cross UNESCO Heritage sites, old vineyards, and beautiful landscapes. It crosses right through Valence, Orleans and Eindhoven, among other cities. These are issues to deal with.

Air quality control, level of noise, deterioration of the landscape, energy efficiency, etc. Engineers explain how to reach the standards that the project needs to comply in order to be environmental feasible.

A PR company explains how to put in good light a project that is going to make so many people move from homes and industries.

A pole with the sign 06:00 is nailed down at this point near Fossano (IT) where the train will pass at 6 o’clock.


Building TTZZ


Although all the technology necessary for the project already exists, the implementation and the combination of technical solutions will set new records and will bring new technical solutions for future problems.

There are places that will be a difficult technical challenge, such as crossing through the Chiemsee in Germany, or passing the Alps in Austria, Italy and France. The most advanced solutions are presented, to ensure safety, ecological sustainability and TTZZ conceptual rigor.

Historical examples of bridges and tunnels, cutting edge engineering solutions worldwide and machinery to build it are presented.

A study of the possibility of using magnetic levitation technology is also presented, a visit to test tracks and lines already operating.

A pole with the sign 07:00 is nailed down at this point near Valence where the train will pass at 7 o’clock.


The rolling stock


A presentation of the first high speed train (technically more than 200 km/h) the European Schienenzeppelin, built in 1930 in Germany.

Presentation of the companies that design and produce railway cars and locomotives. The model Belaro, by Siemens, as an example of possible options already available.

Presentation of the software engineering required for the train to maintain constant precise 200 km/h speed.

Internal and external decoration of the carriages and locomotive.

A pole with the sign 08:00 is nailed down at this point near Bourges where the train will pass at 8 o’clock.


Safety and security


Safety and security issues, health, construction accidents, car crashes, etc. We ask to an insurance company what kind of risks a good policy for the installation should cover, both as a civil engineering and as an art work. We investigate what accidents are more likely to happen. We follow systematically all the trails to make Train Time as safe as possible for passengers and for people living in the surroundings.

Also about robbery or terrorism: in the case of Train Time, attacks could be for different reasons, depending on the ideology behind them: against the idea of Europe, against the art system, against globalization or just to provoke chaos and confusion…

There is also a specific threat: people who have hostility towards Time. Being an enormous clock, Train Time represents production and progress, for which regulated time is essential.

A pole with the sign 09:00 is nailed down at this point near Chartres where the train will pass at 9 o’clock.


Visiting the installation: INSIDE


One of the possibilities of experiencing the installation is by riding the train. The train, following time patterns, never stops and this might present some difficulties for the visitors of the installation and the general running: passengers must get in and off, supplies should be boarded, maintenance checkups and repairs have to be carried out. There is a solution, using the day the year’s daylight saving adjustment is done, to stop one hour a year. Passengers should remain a whole year on board.

A description of the possible daily life on the train, and the problems of sharing a train one year with other possible visitors.

A psychologist explains the particularities of maintained attention span, long confinements, and the kind of effects the routines and the regular repetition of landscapes will produce on the visitors.

A curator speaks about the perception of time on different art works and the strategies of artists and gallerists to retain (or to expel) visitors in the gallery and the duration of artworks.

Every metre of track has a precise translation into minutes, seconds and milliseconds. A Physicist explains the theory of the relativity and the dilation effect, the different relative times for those in the train and those who are outside, how they age at different speeds.

A pole with the sign 10:00 is nailed down at this point near Amiens where the train will pass at 10 o’clock.


Experience of the train: OUTSIDE


Trains always have signalled the time, the sound of the train passing by is a precise way of measuring the times. Train Time will give the time twice at day on each location.

A visit to the museum of the clock in Geneva, Patek Philip’s headquarters, to see what would be the records this clock would set in the history of Time measuring, and how deep is the effect clocks have had in the history of Europe.

A philosopher explains how important time and his measuring is within the metaphysics of the techno-scientific thinking of Occident.

The connection between time measuring and death, and why in many cultures watches are stopped up when a person has deceased.

A pole with the sign 11:00 is nailed down at this point, near Antwerp where the train will pass at 11 o’clock.


Failure and abandonment


This project might not have the chance to see the light, even in the lowest expectations. It might get into unbearable costs overrun. It could bring to bankruptcy companies and governments. We will research on the means to prevent this kind of situations.

The artist producing TTZZ should keep in mind the possibility of failure. We will interview some artists on the importance of failure in the arts.

We will talk with an art historian about the aesthetics of ruins and the poetic and artistic potential of projects that have failed.

Presentation of infrastructures that became obsolete and have been used for other purposes.

Art works are constituted in such a way that the artist often realizes the actual reason to do make them after the work has been completed, once all the effort has been done. Mostly, that’s the reason why an art project should be made, to discover the reasons behind. If there is not other outcome from the Train Time project, at least it would have aroused discussion about politics, society, environment and, ultimately, the meaning of art.

The two artists approach the sign of 00:00, where the trip started. It is late night.