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Thameslink-based CRPs celebrate World Art Day with online art trail

A group of Thameslink-based community rail partnerships have launched an online art trail to encourage more people to take the train for leisure, linking in with World Art Day on 15 April.

The ‘Thameslink Art Trail by Rail’ highlights galleries, festivals and trails across the Thameslink community rail network stretching from Bedford, St Albans and Cambridge to Sevenoaks, Shoreham, and Brighton.

The online art trail follows on from the group’s existing initiative, ‘Countryside, Capital and Coast’, which promotes the accessibility and benefits of using the train to travel to, from and through London for leisure journeys. The initiative came second in the Best Communications category at the 2021 Community Rail Awards.

The Thameslink group consists of Darent Valley CRP, Meldreth, Shepreth & Foxton CRP, Marston Vale CRP, Beds & Herts CRP and Southeast Communities Rail Partnership.

Sarah Newman, Community rail officer at Darent Valley CRP said: “It has been a real pleasure to work with all the other Thameslink CRPs again (following our award-winning Thameslink Trail of 2021), focusing this time on all the amazing art galleries, art trails, sculpture parks and design collections throughout the Thameslink network. I can’t wait to get on the train for an exchange visit with other officers, looking at inspiring art in their areas or sharing the local gems in our area – the Darent Valley – while also, of course, enjoying lots of tea, cake and conversation! There’s so much to see – we really hope this lovely Art Trail Guide inspires more people to hop on the train for a greener day out”

Alice Mannion, Campaigns & leisure promotions coordinator at Community Rail Network said: “We’re delighted to have been able to support the development of this online art trail and the wider ‘Countryside, Capital and Coast’ initiative. It’s great to see this group of community rail partnerships come together to work on a joint project promoting sustainable, healthy travel on a wider scale and showcasing the connectivity and ease of rail travel beyond their area.”

The ‘Thameslink Art Trail by Rail’ sits within Community Rail Network’s Scenic Rail Britain tourism website, linking it to an established audience, and can be viewed here.