Winners of the ‘Wish I was There’ Competition are unveiled at an exhibition launched at London’s Waterloo station
Network Rail has launched an exhibition showcasing work from the next generation of artists that celebrates the return of rail travel.
Earlier this year, Network Rail launched a competition titled “Wish I was There”, asking art students from across the UK to create work that reflected the places they had missed travelling to during the pandemic – whether it be a town, city or beach, a shopping street or even just a pub or a park – a place that meant something special to them.
Nearly 270 images were submitted from across the country, including St Michael’s Mount (Cornwall), Lyme Regis (Dorset), Llandudno Promenade (Wales), Glenfinnan Viaduct (Scotland) and Bridlington (Yorkshire).
Sir Peter Hendy CBE, chair of Network Rail, said: “The standard of art submitted has been beyond exceptional and reflects how much we have all missed travelling by rail. I thank all the artists who have taken the time to submit their work that has paid homage to the places that they have missed travelling to.
“The railway has a long history of creating works of art to promote the destinations that people can travel to by train, and the art submitted completely and utterly reflects that. This art will become a part of history, documenting what has been an unprecedented time for all of us.”
100 submissions were selected, judged by a panel that included artist Jacqueline Colley, who teaches at the Victoria and Albert Museum. They will be exhibited at major mainline stations across the country.
The railway network has been vital in keeping the country running during the pandemic, including by keeping key workers and freight on the move, and it will play a significant part in the country’s economic recovery. The industry is working hard to make sure it is safe for people to travel as restrictions are lifted.
The top 20 winners are as follows:
Dina Aldrich – The Norfolk Coast and beyond
Louise Allen – North Yorkshire coast
Chris Bunn – Llandudno Promenade
M A Chamberlain- Drumochter Pass, the highest point on the rail network
Mariya Darr – Sandals and the Sea
Esther Forse – Edinburgh
Laura Hurn – Glenfinnan viaduct
Jazz Lawrence – Canterbury Downs
Nataliia Marchuk – Chester Sunset
Emma McMillan – Edinburgh Castle
Amandine Mondion – London is my cup of tea
Elbo Parkes – Lyme Regis
Claudia Elestabeta Prospescu – By the sea in Suffolk
Volunteers at one of Northern’s stations are celebrating success at a prestigious flower show.
Friends of Todmorden Station won a bronze medal at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park this weekend (21st-25th July) in the Community Borders category.
The garden, named Lovers Walk, was sponsored by the train operator, and was inspired by walks to the town’s local landmark Stoodley Pike, a monument where couples would graffiti dedications to each other.
Visitors to the show could see a replica of the monument alongside flowers that symbolise romance such as Larkspur, Dahlias, Geraniums and Nigella (Love in a Mist)
The garden will be dismantled and recreated at Todmorden stations for Northern customers to enjoy.
Tony Baxter, Regional Director at Northern said: “This is an amazing achievement by Friends of Todmorden Stations
“Our community partners are the heartbeat of the railway and we’re extremely proud to work closely with them to deliver such a wide-ranging positive impact for the North of England.”
Network Rail has released alarming footage of children playing near live railway lines in Worcestershire as a warning to local families during the summer holidays.
With most children now off school until September, parents and guardians are being urged to make sure their young ones know the dangers of the railway and understand why they should never trespass on the tracks.
The warning comes after cameras repeatedly filmed children loitering and playing on Jamaica Road level crossing in Malvern, on the line between Hereford and Worcester.
More than 70 trains use the crossing each day travelling at speeds of up to 70mph.
Over just nine days in June the cameras filmed ten incidents of children risking their lives – ranging from not stopping, looking or listening before crossing, loitering for lengthy periods on the tracks, sitting down while taking part in dares to leaving items of clothing on the rails.
Rhys Evans, level crossing manager at Network Rail, said: “The footage we’ve captured at Jamaica Road is concerning and shows that local children still aren’t aware of the potential dangers of trespassing on the railway – despite our hard work to educate the local community on level crossing safety.
“Our message to parents and guardians is to please warn your children that the railway is not a place to play. It’s absolutely vital that everybody remains vigilant when crossing the railway as trains are fast, frequent, and quieter than ever.”
Francis Thomas, from West Midlands Railway, said: “Railways are not playgrounds. Trains can not swerve, nor can they pull-up suddenly. If you are not on a train or in a station – quite simply, you shouldn’t be on the railway.”