Trains operating on the Marston Vale Line have been given an exciting new look to celebrate the line’s 175th anniversary and the scenic countryside it runs through.
The Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership (MVCRP) has installed a special vinyl on the outside of two of the former London Underground trains used on the line, which runs from Bedford to Bletchley.
As well as marking 175 years of the line, the livery promotes Greensand Country, an area of distinctive and beautiful countryside based on a band of higher ground stretching from Leighton Buzzard through to Gamlingay, rising out of the surrounding clay vales. The area contains all of Bedfordshire’s remaining heathland, more than half of its woodland, and more surviving historic parkland than any other landscape in the country.
The graphics were designed by Click Creative Ltd. and installed by Stewart Signs Ltd. and can be enjoyed by rail passengers and the local community alike for the next twelve months.
Stephen Sleight, MVCRP officer, said: “I am delighted that Marston Vale CRP is one of the first in the country to design vinyls for the trains operating on its line. We are very proud of our upcycled former London Underground trains and these new liveries with their eye-catching design really help to provide further local identity and a sense of place. My thanks to all those who have funded the project and Abellio Group for their role in co-ordination.”
David Hopkins, Greensand Country Landscape Partnership board member, added: “We are proud to have been involved in is this train wrap; which depicts the view from Ampthill Great Park across Greensand Country. We’re very pleased that for the next 12 months everyone travelling on these trains will be able to experience just a snapshot of the wonderful landscape.”
The project was funded by the Department for Transport Community Rail Development Fund, administered by Community Rail Network, Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, East Midlands Railway (EMR) and MVCRP.
Paul Webster, Community Rail Network support and development manager, said: “Using the railway network to visit Britain’s stunning scenic landscapes, discover historic sites and to connect with walking and cycling activities is such a great and sustainable way to travel. Through the Community Rail Development Fund we are pleased to support this innovative way to share this message and inspire more people to take the train through Greensand Country and stop off at the stations along the Marston Vale line in this special 175th anniversary year.”
Donna Adams, EMR community engagement manager, added: “We were delighted that EMR’s Community Development Fund has been able to support this project and the community rail partnership. It’s important to mark this anniversary so that we can continue to connect the communities to the railway, as well as sharing the history and promoting all the hidden gems along the route for all to enjoy.”
Find out more about the work of Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership here.