Urmston train station artwork tracks 150-year evolution of railways

Passengers at Urmston train station are able to take a trip through time after artwork was unveiled to mark its 150th anniversary.

The artwork contains 12 panels made by artists from the area and tells stories of the evolution of the railways not only in the town, an important stop on the line from Liverpool to Manchester, but also nationally and internationally.

Friends of Urmston Station (FOURS) initially intended for these illustrations to be made by four schools in the surrounding area.

But coronavirus intervened and it was decided artists like Cath Martin and Michelle Hayes should do the illustrations from home.

The result captures the essence of what made the 150 years between 1872 and 2022 so special for the railways.

Michael Bennett, honorary secretary of FOURS, said: “We have a mix of styles and some interesting reflections on our social history covering everything from the arrival of Vimto to the ‘Golden Spike’ ceremony at Promontory Summit, Utah, which marked the first railroad to traverse a continent and avoid the perils of weeks at sea.

“From Charles Rolls meeting Henry Royce up the line in Manchester to the introduction of the Pendolino class 390 trains in 2002 when we also celebrated the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, there is something of interest for everyone.”

The artwork was unveiled last week at an event attended by Kate Green MP and Mayor of Trafford Cllr Chris Boyes.

Also in attendance was Network Rail route director for the North West Phil James, who said: “The railway runs like a thread through our society and is interwoven with our history. This new artwork on an iconic station captures that relationship and I am delighted to be here today to officially mark the anniversary and the unveiling ceremony. ”

“What FOURS have done is clearly illustrates the value of community involvement in the railway, something recently recognized as vitally important by the Williams-Shapps review and something we all need to build on if we are to rebuild patronage on our railway network following one of the most challenging periods in recent history. ”

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