20 May 2024

By Hannah Wilcox

Public transport users are in for a ride of a lifetime as Vivid’s Tekno Train pulls into North Sydney.

The installation takes off from Central Station nightly for three weeks beginning Friday. It will journey for 60 minutes over the Harbour Bridge and down the spur line to Lavender Bay and back.

Coined the ‘Scenic Route’, it is the slower one of two journeys – best suited to families with young children.

On what looks to be a standard K set train, passengers will be able to bop along to an original techno soundtrack composed by creator Paul Mac accompanied by custom lighting. 

‘As the train moves, the lights and music will rhythmically adjust to match the train’s speed and changing landscape outside, crafting a melodic and unforgettable ride through both Sydney’s city circle and disused train lines,’ the official media statement read.

The Aussie electro-pop artist has worked with big names such as Rüfüs Du Sol, Ngaiire, Silverchair, LCD Soundsystem, George Michael, Sia, and even Kylie Minogue. His gold-selling 2001 album 3000 Feet High won an ARIA for best dance release.

“Trains have always fascinated me,” Mac said.

“Their mix of rhythmic clicks and clacks, the screech of metal on metal, and the sound and smell of brakes are all interesting sensory experiences that everyone can relate to.”

He added: “Tekno Train will take things one step further.”

“It will drive the music and lights, turning a commuter journey into a sensory rollercoaster.” 

This year the festival’s theme is ‘Humanity’, focused on broadening perspectives, challenging preconceptions and celebrating humanity.

“Tekno Train by Paul Mac is a perfect example of how multiple artforms from the world’s brightest artists can transform everyday activities into something truly memorable,” Vivid Sydney Festival Director Gill Minervini said.

“We’re thrilled to be able to work with Transport for NSW and Paul to bring this magical experience to our wonderful city and create unforgettable experiences that will captivate audiences from around the world.”  

Tickets start at $13.90 for children aged five to 12 years with an adult ticket going for $19.90. Family pricing is available at $59.90.

 The Tekno Train will run throughout the length of the Vivid festival from May 24 to June 15. A second route will run around the City Circle.