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From railway history to a greener future: pupils go ‘full steam ahead’ with CRL

Community Rail Lancashire has worked with local secondary school pupils to create a new piece of artwork celebrating sustainable travel at Accrington Station.   

The new artwork, undertaken by pupils of The Hollins under the artistic and research guidance of community artist Karen Allerton, was unveiled at Accrington Station on Wednesday 27 September. The artwork shows the social progress made from the introduction of the railways to the ways in which the industry currently continues to move forward and become an ever-greener transport choice.

As part of the project, the pupils took the train to visit the National Railway Museum in York, as well as the railway exhibition currently on display at Clitheroe Castle to boost their knowledge and confidence of travelling by train. They also had the chance to hear from representatives of Community Rail Network, who, alongside Community Rail Lancashire, spent time improving the pupils’ understanding of the rail network, its role in local history, and the progress being made towards its position as a green, sustainable mode of travel. 

Craig Harrop, Regional Director for Northern, said: “Karen Allerton’s collaboration with the students from The Hollins has created a beautiful – and important – piece of art to highlight the progression of the rail industry over 200 years. It’s a great addition to Accrington Station and something that I’m sure our passengers will enjoy admiring when using the station.”

Mr Waqar Ahmed, Extended Schools Coordinator, said: “We were delighted The Hollins was invited to be involved in this project. It has introduced our pupils to the rail industry and the career potential within it, as well as extending their art, history, and research skills.

“It has been very exciting for all involved and we can’t wait for our careers talk with the local Station Manager in October, and for the Northern rail trip we’re planning too!”

Mike Cliffe, Chair of the East Lancashire CRP and Rail Development Manager at Lancashire County Council: “This is a great piece of artwork which has been developed with the community. The artistry displayed by the pupils, alongside the content and pictures showing the railway through the ages, is captivating – we thank Northern Railways for funding this project.

“I’m pleased to see it’s displayed in the Station’s Booking Office where it can be viewed from the comfort of indoors. There is so much to look at and find out through this artwork, which will add much to the travelling experience by rail in this part of East Lancashire.”

Keep up to date with future news, projects, and events from Community Rail Lancashire via their website.