STEAM SONG, Albuquerque Rail Yard


TV - Albuquerqu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08CI3h6-_Vw


Albuquerque: The Steam Song, a two‐year creative vision jointly developed
by artist/writer Hans Winkler and entrepreneur Lee Blaugrund is focused on the historical significance of the Albuquerque Rail Yards.
The project combines custom audio and visual art along with community events,
All referring to the venue and its environment.
The concept will be presented in a Press conference on March 27, 2015 at 11am in the Blacksmith Shop located at the Albuquerque Rail Yards, 777 1st Street Southwest, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102.
Elements of the concept include, The “Ghost Train” bringing to life the sound of engines past in the Blacksmith Building. A sound system will be installed to create the effect of a steam ‐powered train in full cycle. The audio will be ongoing and at
Random times the train will be heard “passing” through the building. In addition a narrative booklet including new ideas specifically developed for the site, in combination with literary excerpts on the topic of train yards, has been produced in
Conjunction with featured imagery displayed on local outdoor billboards.
The Steam Song Project is an innovative, transformative, groundbreaking “traffic signal” for the entire region and serves as an inspiration to promote and recognize
the contributions of the people of Albuquerque and surrounding area. Partners in the project include, The City of Albuquerque and Clearchannel Outdoor.
“The train station, its windows as large as those in any cathedral, was a cavernous space inhabited by echoes that seemed to have been cursed with immortality and murmured continually of the past…the foot that had already
fallen, the voice that had already spoken, the whistle that had already blown.” Samuel R. Delany


The Albuquerque Rail Yard project incorporates elements of history, architecture, culture and the people who worked there.
The concept encompasses the creation of custom made artistic works that refer to the location and its environment.
Emphasizing the significance of the train yard, the idea is based on a revitalization of Albuquerque’s abandoned and
architecturally unique Rail Yards by installing artworks/installations that enter a dialogue with the space and the history of the buildings
The concept is realized in 3 distinct projects:
1. The Ghost Train - Sound Installation
The sound of a steam train “passing through”, presented in Blacksmith Building.
A sound technician has cut a multi track audio recording of a freight train. Sixteen loudspeakers are installed in a line on the ceiling through the center of the building.
2. A themed Billboard Exhibition revolving around the rail yard.
Artworks by different local and international artists like Paul Kos (Tunnel, 1995/ photo nr. 2), San Francisco and
photographers are presented on four billboards in proximity of the Albuquerque Train Yards. They focus on the Rail Yards and most generally the influence of trains in art and culture.
3. The booklet includes new ideas that have been specifically developed for the site, in combination with literary excerpts on the topic of train yards. Throughout the years, Albuquerque Rail Yard has inspired several generations of filmmakers, artists, and writers, including Edward Abbey, Charles Bukowski or Rudolfo Anaya.


press release: RAIL.pdf


ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – You might have seen them around town – billboards with no advertisements, just photos. They’re part of a project centered around a piece of Albuquerque’s history. Steam Song is a conceptual art project set to showcase the Rail Yard’s rich past.
“I’ve always been struck by the bad reputation, all the politics and the public image and the great space that is actually is,” said Albuquerque local and Steam Song contributor Lee Blaugrund.
Blaugrund says it all started three years ago when he had the opportunity to tour the Albuquerque Rail Yards with an artist friend. The two say what they found there was inspiring.
“The first time he showed me the place, I have to say, I was blown away. It was so beautiful. The sun was there, the glasses, the whole building was empty and I was really impressed, and this was a moment when, both of us, we said we have to do something,” said conceptual artist Hans Winkler.
They decided to begin a project to highlight the Rail Yard’s past and move away from the place it had become – an empty building ridden with graffiti and broken windows.
“We hope to give the community a little bit of a taste of the history and the cultural significance and the impressive nature of the facility so we’ll change the needle a little bit in peoples’ minds, the image that they’ve got a real asset in Albuquerque and they’re lucky to have it,” Blaugrund said.
Winkler began researching the Albuquerque Rail Yards, interviewing former workers and studying its history.
Friday, he and Blaugrund will premiere Steam Song, a three-part project.It includes four billboards featuring photos representing different viewpoints of the Albuquerque Rail Yards, brochures detailing the place’s history and “Ghost Train,” a recording of a steam engine set to play in the Rail Yard’s Blacksmith Building.
“Ghost Train” will play repeatedly and randomly through a sound system in the building. It’s set to last between four to six weeks.
Blaugrund says the Albuquerque Rail Yards has developed a persona since the project started three years ago. There are now a number of community events held within the facility.
The project premieres at 11 a.m. Friday at the Albuquerque Rail Yards.