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Wish I was there – exhibition celebrates rail travel

We’ve launched an exhibition showcasing work from the next generation of artists to celebrate the return of rail travel.

In April, we ran a competition – Wish I was There – asking art students from across the UK to create work that reflected the places they had missed travelling to during the pandemic- whether it be a town, city or beach, a shopping street or even just a pub or a park – a place that meant something special to them.

Entrants submitted almost 270 pieces of work, including images from across the country such as Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle, St Michael’s Mount, Brighton Pier, Piccadilly Circus and Llandudno Promenade. 

Sir Peter Hendy CBE, chair of Network Rail, said: “The standard of art submitted has been beyond exceptional and reflects how much we have all missed travelling. 

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

Painting of beach huts and bikes in Suffolk
By the Sea in Suffolk, Claudia Elisabeta Popescuone of the top 20 winners

The railway network has been vital in keeping the country running during the pandemic including keeping key workers and freight on the move and it will play a massive part in the country’s economic recovery. The industry is working hard to make sure it is safe for people to travel as restrictions are lifted.

The exhibition will kick off at London Waterloo station for two weeks before going around the country, including Leeds and Manchester.

Header image: Lyme Regis, Elbo Parkes

Find more information and buy copies of the artworks at

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