Transforming pick-up rides roads and rails

One of a kind SEFT-1 truck-train explores abandoned railways in Central America
SEFT-1 hybrid car-train

SEFT-1 hybrid car-train

If you've ever sat in a traffic jam and looked over longingly at empty train tracks, the SEFT-1 could be for you.

This hybrid car-train is as happy on rails as it is on the motorway, thanks to steel bogies that deploy at the touch of a button. It was built by a pair of artists to explore the rural tracks of Mexico abandoned after privatisation in the 1990s.

Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene (who call themselves 'ferronauts' after the Spanish word for railway) started with an pick-up truck with 250,000 miles on the clock, then added a futuristic aluminium shell and the steel railway wheels for their 5,500-mile expedition.

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SEFT-1 in Mexico

SEFT-1 in Mexico

Take to the rails with hybrid train wheels

Take to the rails with hybrid train wheels

Inside, the SEFT-1 (which stands for Manned Railway Exploration Probe) boasts a touchscreen and GPS navigation, as well as paper maps of the railways from the 19th century. 

As they travelled through Mexico and Ecuador, they posted photos and travelogues online, using 3G laptops.

Some of their images, as well as scale models of the railway ruins they drove and rode across, are on show at the Furtherfield Gallery in London until the end of July.

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[Wired]