You can get away with a lot wearing an official-looking vest.

Back in April, passengers attempting to board a Hamburg S-Bahn commuter train might have wound up with cracked glasses and a sore nose. A pack of street artists—or vandals, depending on your perspective—had at some point sneaked onto the train and erected a sturdy cinderblock wall inside one of the doors.

“The stones were accurately measured,” a police spokesman remarked. “There’s quite [some] craftsmanship behind it.”

Well, we now know how much craftsmanship, as the people responsible have released a making-of video. (Like so much public art these days, it appears to be tied in with a brand.)

It turns out they boarded the car when it was sitting unguarded on the tracks, wearing official-looking safety vests. They mixed the mortar and cut the blocks on site, then sealed the edges with caulk and swept up their mess before leaving. Footage from inside the train shows it made several stops, baffling and amusing commuters, before authorities discovered the prank.

A friendly reminder: Please don’t use these images as a tutorial for walling off your own city’s train.

H/t Urbanshit

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Perspective

    In a Pandemic, We're All 'Transit Dependent'

    Now more than ever, public transportation is not just about ridership. Buses, trains, and subways make urban civilization possible.

  2. Coronavirus

    The Post-Pandemic Urban Future Is Already Here

    The coronavirus crisis stands to dramatically reshape cities around the world. But the biggest revolutions in urban space may have begun before the pandemic.

  3. Equity

    What Bigotry Looks Like During Social Distancing

    As reports of harassment and assault against Asian Americans increase, community advocates are finding new ways to tackle the spread of xenophobia.

  4. photo: San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency employees turn an empty cable car in San Francisco on March 4.
    Transportation

    As Coronavirus Quiets Streets, Some Cities Speed Road and Transit Fixes

    With cities in lockdown and workplaces closed, the big drop in traffic and transit riders allows road repair and construction projects to rush forward.

  5. A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past a boarded up building in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Governors from coast to coast Friday told Americans not to leave home except for dire circumstances and ordered nonessential business to shut their doors.
    Equity

    The Geography of Coronavirus

    What do we know so far about the types of places that are more susceptible to the spread of Covid-19? In the U.S., density is just the beginning of the story.

×