A train that can calculate

In 1936, Alan M. Turing developed the Turing machine, a computing machine with which anything can theoretically be calculated.

This concept was translated by Austrian artists David Moises and Severin Hofmann into a model railway. The locomotive of the Turing Train Terminal runs through a program routine on a scratch tape and turns on read-write heads. Different types of switches trigger computational steps.

ttttrain.jpgThree “bits” are first written by a locomotive into memory (the switches). The locomotive then drives through the system, sets the writing/reading heads and returns to its starting point. In order to calculate one bit, some 80 meters of track must be covered. The result of the calculation is a change in the track system. The train is able to carry out six mathematical operations.