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Community Rail Lancashire and local schools unveil ‘Trains of the Reign’ artwork

A rail project that started as a celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will now become a legacy to the reign of HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

Community Rail Lancashire worked with 270 Year 5 children from schools along the Bradford to Leeds railway line to create stunning artwork depicting trains from each of the last eight decades.

The project was initiated after Northern and Network Rail raised concerns about a spike in young people trespassing on the line between Bradford and Leeds.

A series of safety talks and trips on the train were delivered to ten schools during the first two terms of the academic year. Local artist Han Mallott-Manning then worked with each class, drawing and colouring parts of the trains that operated during each of the eight decades that Queen Elizabeth was on the throne. The children also designed their own National Rail Double Arrow logo and a selection was chosen by the artist for the border of the artwork, which was created by Jodie Greenwood from marketing company Wedge Collective.

On Thursday 29 September special guests, along with children and teachers from Swinnow Primary School, Whitecote Primary School, Green Hill Primary School and Holy Family Primary School, met at New Pudsey Station to see their work in situ.

Special guests and primary schools attending the launch of the Trains of the Reign artwork at New Pudsey Station.

Karen Bennett, Community Rail Education Development Officer, is delighted with the results of the project. She said: “We were approached by Northern and Network Rail to help devise a programme of events that would help children understand the dangers of trespassing on train lines while, at the same time, help them have a sense of ownership and pride in their local stations.

“We were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, and what started as a celebration during a time of huge civic pride has now become a poignant legacy to her. Every single child that took part has some of their work featured, which is fantastic.

“I look forward to working with the schools on more exciting projects in the future.”

Richard Isaac, Northern’s Regional Community and Sustainability Manager for the East, added: “This project showed how highly HRH Queen Elizabeth II was thought of by pupils from schools across the area and the finished piece has made a real difference to the station.

“We wanted to really engage with children to teach them about the dangers of trespassing on the railway and we’re delighted with the results. A lot of talented young people took part and they are the train drivers, conductors and station staff of the future. We have lots of exciting plans to keep this momentum going too, so I am looking forward to working with the schools again soon.” 

Ten-year-old Summer from Swinnow Primary School said: “I loved taking part in the safety talks and the art project and it was really exciting to go on the train. It is dangerous to trespass on the train lines and I have been telling my friends and family everything we learned.”