International art project brings Northamptonshire rail history to life

Trace Track by Xevi Bayona, Spain
Trace Track by Xevi Bayona, Spain

An public art project inspired by the history of Northamptonshire’s railways has been launched in the county after it was successful in Ireland and Spain.

Changing Tracks has seen British artist Noah Rose create original installations at various locations in the Nene Valley countryside, near disused railways which have turned into walking and cycling routes, such as the former railway station which is now Rushden Transport Museum.

Noah Rose with one of his Changing Tracks pieces

Noah Rose with one of his Changing Tracks pieces

Salford-based Rose’s Northamptonshire pieces, which he has named a ‘Museum of Interconnected Events’, comprises of a collection of sculptural installations which will function as an outdoor gallery, aiming to create a sense of intrigue and a desire to ‘collect’ amongst the walkers, cyclists, along each route.

His ‘event cabinets’ will contain a variety of artefacts, including salvaged objects found locally, archive photographs or other documents relating to the impact of the railways on their surroundings, local species diversity and local legends or cultural traditions.

Mr Rose’s aim in particular is to reflect a variety of themes within the rise and fall of the railways, inspired by everything from the effect on local communities of the Beeching Cuts, implemented 50 years ago, to the impending impact of HS2, which is planned to go through the south of the county.

Graham Callister, cultural policy & planning manager for Northamptonshire County Council, said, “Changing Tracks has brought something brand new to the Northamptonshire countryside that can be enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and families alike.

“The project has bridged communities in three countries and celebrated the legacy of our Victorian railways to the present day. We hope visitors will make tracks to see the project this summer.”

The outdoor museum will remain in situ until mid November in the UK.

Initiated by Northamptonshire County Council, who secured funding from the European Commission as well as from other sources, the pan-European project has already seen international success.

In Spain, Catalan artist Xevi Bayona’s Trace Track, a 10m high railway track that appears to be emerging from a lake, has attracted national attention.

All artists aim to boost awareness of railway heritage by engaging with a wide range of leisure and recreational users such as walkers, cyclists, families, fishers, and local community groups including heritage, schools, colleges and local tourism businesses.

For more information about Changing Tracks, visit: