There has always been something singularly romantic about train travel, what with its steady speed and constant sound. Mexican artists Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene felt the pull of the rails, but since Mexico privatized its railways in 1995, passenger travel has essentially disappeared. They didn't let that discourage them, though. Instead, they pushed ahead to create their own way to explore the country's roughly 6,000 miles of abandoned tracks.

Part art project, part oral history and part adventure, they created the SEFT-1 (pictured above), which stands for Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada or Manned Railway Exploration Probe. Granted, they probably could have used just about any vehicle sturdy enough to take the offroad terrain, but the two of them took the idea much further. Starting with a pickup truck, they fabricated a retrofuturist body out of aluminum and a custom interior. The retractable wheels kept it on the tracks when they were still there. The complete design looks like Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion car as rendered by Budget Flash Gordon.

Along the way, they captured their adventure in pictures, video and audio recordings to post on their website (in Spanish) and visited schools to show of the SEFT-1 and share what they had learned. Scroll down to watch a video describing their adventures.

SEFT-1 Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe from The Arts Catalyst on Vimeo.

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