And in a “you couldn’t make it up” moment, it may even get its own train crash sculpture.
The Birmingham Big Art project is in the process of commissioning a £2 million sculpture for the Eastside City Park to go outside the Curzon Street Station. They’ve now shortlisted five designs – including one which looks like a crashed train.
Steam Railway magazine have said the train it was based on is the sister locomotive of the City of Glasgow engine that crashed at Harrow and Wealdstone station in north west London in 1952 where 112 people died.
Apparently the artist, Roger Hiorns, had never heard of the train crash, which would be entirely typical of HS2’s level of research (although HS2 Ltd aren’t involved in the competition). Instead Hiorns says of it “The image of the locomotive in bodily transition is proposed as a symbol of the shaping of our sexual and physical identities by technology.”
Gavin Wade, chair of the selection panel of the Birmingham Big Art Project, said: “Hiorns’ BBAP proposal is not intended to be a train crash. It is more of a landscape which has been changed by technology. He will take train engines and 3D scan them, then twist and morph the image to come up with a surreal and quite beautiful landscape. He’s a very provocative artist and his proposal is already receiving a response from people who are intrigued by it. That’s what we want.”
Of course, many of our supporters think that HS2 will destroy what is currently beautiful landscapes.
Wade has gone on to say “This is art, and we want to risk something that’s highly charged. That’s why we have art. Perhaps they should make trains that don’t crash.”
As art is supposed to provoke a response, here is ours: rather than come up with sculptures of crashed trains, send the HS2 project crashing into the buffers and cancel it as soon as possible.