NEW artwork has been installed at Didcot Railway Centre to highlight the railway’s role in the “standardisation of time”.

The art, called “The Train Effect”, was installed on Saturday, May 28 and will be at the centre until September.

The Train Effect, which was installed in one of the centre’s waiting rooms, is a video which shows the engine turntable, filmed from above by a drone, with a full-size steam locomotive rotating like the hands of a clock.

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Herald Series: Artist Savinder Bual (Credit: Frank Dumbleton)Artist Savinder Bual (Credit: Frank Dumbleton)

Artist Savinder Bual was inspired by the Great Western Railway adopting “London Time” in 1840 for all stations on the route being constructed from London to Bristol.

As the railway runs east to west, the daily passage of the sun meant that local time was a few minutes later the further west one travelled.

To produce an accurate timetable, the Great Western Railway had to use a single, standardised time zone on its line which was soon adopted across Great Britain.

Ms Bual said: “The installation is about our relationship with time, using the history of the railways as a framework.

Herald Series: Artist Savinder Bual (Credit: Frank Dumbleton)Artist Savinder Bual (Credit: Frank Dumbleton)

“The railways were instrumental in shaping our modern perception of time and I want to use them to prompt people to think about time from different perspectives.

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“By showing that a small action by just two people can create an immense change – in this case, moving a 130-ton engine – I want to show that we have the power to renegotiate how we think about time.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing:

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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