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On Track for Change

On Track for Change has been a two year project to explore the history of artificial limb making by the railways. Funded by Arts Council England, the Alternative Limb Project has created a new installation based on themes and ideas found during research.

An ‘artificial limb bench’ was spotted on a plan of North Road Locomotive Works whilst researching a previous exhibition. New research has uncovered not only a history of artificial limb making but also of disability on the railways.

The museum has worked with members of the local community to produce an exhibition and art installation that highlights the individual experience of living with an artificial limb.


The Alternative Limb Project

Merging the latest technology with traditional crafts, Sophie’s creations explore themes of body image, modification, evolution and transhumanism, whilst promoting positive conversations around disability and celebrating body diversity.

Drawing on her own specialist skills in making ultra-realistic looking limbs, Sophie collaborates with specialists in fields such as 3D modelling, electronics and cutting edge technology, and works in conjunction with in-house prosthetist Chris Parsons at Design Prosthetics. Clients have included Paralympic athletes, musicians, models, performing artists and video game companies.

For more information please visit


20:45 to Lover's Rest

The Alternative Limb Project was commissioned to create a railway themed limb for Head of Steam - Darlington Railway Museum after they discovered more about artificial limb making by the railways. This was an exciting opportunity.

In designer Sophie de Oliveira's mind she could see a small locomotive travelling in and around a leg picking up both the scenery from inside and outside the limb.

As COVID-19 and lockdowns took hold, the project became a labour of love, developing into the two limbs and landscape seen in the final piece and film.

The work conveys a love story from one limb to another - touching on themes of love, loss, connection, transhumanism, and nostalgia.




Audio Description

The audio description for this film was created by VocalEyes, and part-funded by an Arts Council National Lottery project grant (100 Videos Described).