Use your art skills to highlight rail travel


ART students are being invited to take part in a competition to promote the joy of rail travel — but they will need to make a high speed effort to meet the deadline.

Network Rail has launched its Wish I Was There contest to celebrate rail travel and the destinations people have missed travelling to during lockdown.

Art students are being asked to create and submit pieces of artwork that conjure up images of the places that they have been looking forward to visiting — whether it be a town, city or beach, a shopping street or even just a pub or a park. It should be a place that means something special to them.

The competition is open to art students across the UK, aged 18 or over.

Up to 100 submissions will be selected and will be exhibited this summer at major mainline stations across the country beginning at London’s Waterloo station in July.

There will also be a chance that some of the works will also be displayed on large-scale digital screens at 20 of the biggest mainline stations in the country.

The deadline for submissions is May 16 and it is expected that judging will take place in June.

Students can find more information by visiting

Network Rail will select 20 of the top entries who will receive £2,500 in exchange for the rights for Network Rail to retail the artwork as printed posters and postcards.

Students are invited to design and submit a piece of art done to the scale of a postcard (landscape or portrait) and can choose any place in the UK that is special to them and can be reached via train.

The piece can be done in any of the following mediums: painting, drawing (any material), collage, print, illustration (hand-drawn or computer) and bas-relief. Photography may appear but only as part of a piece and not as a stand-alone image.

Sir Peter Hendy, chair of Network Rail, said: “The railway, from the very beginning, has been an integral part of bringing people and places together. From visiting family and friends, to that cherished day trip to the seaside. It gives us access to places that we might not otherwise have gone to. We all have those special places that we like to visit by train and that is something we have all missed in the last year.

“That is why we are inviting the UK’s next generation of artists to bring this to life, by creating images that capture and celebrate the journeys we’re all looking forward to making when we can.

“The railway has a long history of creating works of art to promote the destinations that people could travel to by train, and the art submitted through this competition will become part of that history, documenting what has been an unprecedented time for all of us.”

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