Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Brick Train, Darlington (NZ325143)

© Copyright Dr Brian Lynch and licensed for 

For a sculpture with a difference, you can do little better than the splendid full-size brick effort at the side of the A66 to the east of Darlington. It is called simply ‘Train’, and was built to the designs of David Mach in 1997.

It was, of course, commissioned in celebration of the town’s rich railway heritage, and represents a Mallard-type locomotive travelling at full pelt, with steam billowing from its funnel. It appears also to be emerging from the hillside as if leaving a tunnel. The landmark can be viewed from any angle – including above, thanks to a specially-built platform, from where you can cast your eyes over its 185,000 bricks. It is 23ft high and 130ft long, and took a team of 34 men five months to build. It was funded from several sources, including the National Lottery and Morrisons supermarket, and was unveiled by Lord Palumbo of Walbrook.

In case you don’t really like it and are wondering, well, it cost around £760,000. But it does contain time capsules from local schoolchildren and, curiously, special ‘bat bricks’ to encourage wildlife to make use of its hollow interior.

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