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Collaborative art project goes full steam ahead on the Settle-Carlisle Railway

The Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company has unveiled a new piece of artwork at Appleby Station.

Cumbrian-based artist Karen Babayan was commissioned to create a new piece of art to celebrate the historic railway line alongside pupils from Appleby Primary School.

The project, funded by Northern and Community Rail Network, aims to encourage the next generation of train travellers to discover more about rail travel and the historic line.

The pupils had a day out on the train to Settle where they visited the signal box, and this train journey was the inspiration for a series of art workshops led by Karen. Together, the group produced ten interlinked panels using collage, a variety of print processes, drawing, painting, and papercut.

Artist Karen Babayan said: “This artwork celebrates all aspects of the Settle-Carlisle Railway – its history and historic landmarks such as the Ribblehead Viaduct; the incredible landscape surrounding it; stories such as Ruswarp, the heroic dog whose statue is at Garsdale Station; the market towns all along it, passengers and staff who are the line’s own communities and the particular vernacular of the Midland Railway architecture of the stations along the line.”

Martin Clarke, Community Rail Support and Sustainability Manager at Community Rail Network, said: We were delighted to support Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company with this project, as we know that as well as improving the appearance of stations and creating welcoming gateways to the areas they serve, station art can also help to promote positive mental health and discourage anti-social behaviour.

“Every station has a story to tell, and it is fantastic that this new artwork has been inspired by the history and landscape of this iconic line and celebrates the communities and places it serves. We’re sure it will prove very popular with visitors to the station, and everyone involved in the project should be very proud of their efforts.”

Pete Myers, Chair of the Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company, said: “The artwork creates a stunning new way for visitors and travellers to discover more about our world-famous railway line.

“We are grateful to Northern and Community Rail Network for funding the project. The collaboration between the artist Karen Babayan and the pupils at Appleby Primary School has produced a new attraction for people to enjoy at Appleby Station. For some pupils it was the first time they had travelled by train; others discovered family links with the railway. We hope it will encourage more young people and their families to enjoy taking the train in the future.”

Keep up to date with future news, projects, and events from the Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company via their website.