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AV Stumpfl updates rail exhibition at MSI Chicago

Iconic diesel electric train Pioneer Zephyr exhibition has new technology and an upgraded look for reopening at the Museum of Science and Industry

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Blue LED displays down hallway with chrome passenger train at left

AV Stumpfl, Austrian award-winning creator of mobile and installation projection screens, multi-display and show control systems, recently outfitted the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) exhibition, Pioneer Zephyr. The exhibition now uses an AV Stumpfl PIXERA mini Quad server and Fullwhite screens, creating a greater sense of dimension.

Red and black hallway with lit sign that reads "pioneer zephyr" and chrome passenger train at right
Photo credit: Heidi Peters / Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Invention and reinvention

The newly renovated Pioneer Zephyr exhibition—part of the Museum’s collections for over sixty years—tells a story of reinvention. The sixty-meter-long passenger train forever changed travel; now the Zephyr’s story is reimagined through media-rich solutions from AV Stumpfl. This impressive renovation is owing to the generous support of The Grainger Foundation of Lake Forest, Illinois. 

MSI Creative Lead John Llewellyn says, “The Pioneer Zephyr is a beloved piece of transportation and Museum history that has wowed guests for generations.” The cutting-edge diesel-electric engine and streamlined stainless-steel form of the Zephyr reduced operational costs while revolutionizing rail travel’s aesthetic.

Appropriately, new technology is employed to help explain these innovations in transportation. Creative Technology Group worked on the renovation install, spearheaded by project lead Michael Fuller.

Gold, lavender and royal blue rail lounge
Photo credit: Heidi Peters / Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Media-rich motion

Firstly, the team needed to bring the Zephyr to life for young generations. They decided on a nearly two-hundred-foot-long projected media piece to run alongside the train and create an illusion of motion.

Media piece “West Wind Vista” not only provides a sense of motion but also highlights the iconic train’s influence. Vista highlights the roles of aerodynamics and streamlining in industrial design.

Fuller and his team specified AV Stumpfl’s Fullwhite screen, as its borderless appearance helps to further the experience’s immersive quality. They also identified a PIXERA mini Quad media server to control the projectors, and displayed content.

Vintage mail sorting car, with canvas bags and wooden drawers
Photo credit: Heidi Peters / Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Showcasing display technology

Hans Christian Stucken, Global Marketing Advisor for AV Stumpfl says, “In the same way that this enchanting exhibition showcases the latest in display technology alongside the Zephyr’s timeless engineering, we—with the help of the talented team at CT—have been able to show that both our digital and analog products can be used in tandem to bring out the best in one another.”

Long hallway with digital and analog museum displays
Photo credit: Heidi Peters / Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Visitors find the larger-than-life media piece especially impressive, says Sheila Cawley, MSI’s Vice President of External Affairs. “Children and parents are inspired as they learn the Zephyr’s history and explore the science and engineering behind train travel.”

AV Stumpfl provided its PIXERA solution to the recently redeveloped Bodmin Jail experience in Cornwall, UK.

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Kate Heller

Kate Heller

Kate Heller is a creative professional in San José, California who is passionate about art, design, fitness and ocean conservation—and not afraid to write about any of it!

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