South Western Railway’s (SWR) Basingstoke station has a new mural to brighten customer’s journeys.
The mural by Sian Storey depicts a view of London through a Hampshire hedgerow and was painted on the station’s railway bridge, next to Clifton Terrace road.
It replaces a black and white mural that is believed to date back to the early 1990s. The idea to replace it came when SWR’s Control Centre Manager Stefan Chybowski, who is based at Network Rail’s Basingstoke Campus on Gresley Road, spotted Sian’s artwork in Basingstoke town centre.
Stefan approached Sian to paint something in her distinctive style on the bridge that he and his Control Centre colleagues pass each day on their way to work. Sian developed a bespoke design with a historic hedgerow as its focus, showing a view through to London.
The hedgerow features flora and fauna native to Hampshire including blackberries, foxgloves, a brown hare, a robin, a pair of long tailed tits and a sleepy dormouse. At the centre of the design is the iconic London skyline with an SWR train in pride livery.
SWR provided funding for the mural while Network Rail provided materials and labour in a collaborative project to brighten both customers and colleagues’ journeys. The mural underlines SWR’s commitment to improving its network for its customers and the strong ties to the communities it serves.
The mural follows on from another that was recently painted below the railway bridge on Vyne Road, at the western end of the station.
Artist Sian Storey said:
“South Western Railway wanted a fresh and bold mural that celebrates the journey from Hampshire’s beautiful countryside to our nearby capital city.
“Every train journey from Basingstoke serves up mesmerising countryside views, so I wanted to capture that feeling of glimpsing through a hedgerow as the train glides past.
“Street art breathes new life and energy into an area – it can bring so much positivity and pride amongst the community too – so I hope this mural brings a new buzz to Basingstoke railway station.
Stefan Chybowski, South Western Railway’s Control Centre Manager, said:
“My colleagues and I walk past the bridge at least eight times a week and I had often thought about replacing the faded and damaged mural with something a bit more colourful. I was so pleased when I contacted Sian and she said she would love to work on the project.
“I’m very grateful to our colleagues at Network Rail Wessex who helped to make it possible and to Sian for the fantastic result we can see today.”
Jenny Keen, South Western Railway’s Basingstoke station manager, said:
“I’m thrilled to see another fantastic mural completed at the station and have already seen people stopping to take pictures and appreciate what Sian has done here.
“It’s brilliant as well that this follows so closely after the completion of another mural painted in the Vyne Road tunnel under the station. Both of these works have added some colour and style to the area and I hope our customers enjoy them as much as we do.”
Mike Styles, Network Rail Wessex Route’s Area Services Manager, said:
“It was great to be involved in this fantastic mural. Sian’s depiction of the Hampshire countryside is vibrant and eye catching and I’m really pleased that we were able to support this project.”
Image credits: South Western Railway