Virgin Trains, Lakes gateway becomes gallery

Virgin Trains, Lakes gateway becomes gallery

The work in the exhibition has been undertaken by undergraduate students at Kendal College and represents real commissions for them to produce art to be seen by the public.

The scheme was initiated by the Lakes Line Community Rail Partnership and sponsored by 12 local businesses and attractions. Help has also been given by Virgin Trains, the company which manages the station, which is the junction for Kendal and Windermere.

The 12 works of art have been placed in waiting rooms, on walls and on railings so that they are easily visible to passengers arriving at or passing through Oxenholme station.

After touring the exhibits today (Monday 13 June),Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, said: “I congratulate the Community Rail Partnership, Kendal College, Virgin Trains and all the sponsors for their vision and actually making this project a reality. I would also like to particularly praise the students whose magnificent work is on show at the station. What they have done is truly inspirational and really lights up the station.”

He added: “Oxenholme station is iconic as the gateway to the Lake District. I was very impressed this morning to see so many foreign tourists who had been visiting the Lake District changing between trains at Oxenholme on their way from Windermere to Edinburgh.”

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Chairman of the Lakes Line Community Rail Partnership, Tim Owen, commented: “It is wonderful to see how the local businesses, the college and the train operating companies have worked together to help promote this beautiful destination. The students have benefitted from having real commissions that will be seen by possibly millions of people and this area will benefit from additional visitors who are inspired by the beauty of the art and of the destination.”

Jim Trotman, Community Rail Partnership Officer, Furness and Lakes Lines, said: “It is anticipated that this art will inspire travellers to visit the area, to the benefit of the local economy.”

Stuart Davison, Station Manager for Virgin Trains in Cumbria, said: “We are delighted to support the Community Rail Partnership and the students of Kendal College in this way. It’s a great opportunity for them to show off these works of art in an unusual setting and to encourage even more people to visit this beautiful area of England by train.”