Refurbished Kilmarnock underpass reopens

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

ScotRail today announced the reopening of the newly-refurbished underpass at Kilmarnock station.

ScotRail Alliance Managing Director Phil Verster was on hand to inspect the improved lighting, staircases, and also view the new artwork which adorns the walls and roof of the subway. The project was delivered jointly by the rail operator and the Ayrshire Roads Alliance.

The multi-award winning Glasgow-based art organisation WAVEparticle was commissioned by ScotRail and the Ayrshire Roads Alliance to create a unique piece of work to commemorate the history of the Ayrshire town. The WAVEparticle team held workshops in the station and in nearby schools, as well as in the recently-restored station buildings. The eye-catching hexagonal design features stories and pictures submitted by local residents, and captures the town’s proud history as a hub of industry, as well as more personal memories from residents, past and present.

The underpass features panels designed with creative input from residents, organisations, pupils and students from the town, as well as 10 hexagonal display boxes. These will be curated by a number of individuals and community organisations and will display artefacts for commuters to browse.

Ayrshire College, whose new campus is linked to the town centre by the underpass, also contributed to the final design, entitled ‘Kilmarnock Connections’.

A reception was held in the ‘Storm in a Teacup’ cafe, a new enterprise made possible by ScotRail’s ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme. The space it occupies is cared for by the Kilmarnock Station Railway Heritage Trust, who have used the restored spaces within the station to create a café, bookshop, gift shop and office space.

ScotRail managing director Phil Verster said:

“It’s great to see communities taking pride in their heritage, and the ScotRail Alliance is pleased to be able to support Kilmarnock in this way.

“This is a wonderful collage of artwork that truly captures the history of both the town of Kilmarnock and its people. The underpass links the two sides of the town, and now also it links the past with the present.

“The new lighting and improved staircases will go a long way to make the underpass a better environment for those who use it every day, whether they are catching a train, or walking to the new college campus.”

Stewart Turner, Head of the Ayrshire Roads Alliance said:

“This project has demonstrated excellent partnership working between the ScotRail Alliance and the Ayrshire Roads Alliance and I’m pleased the local community has had such an important and active role in helping create this truly impressive artwork.

“Working together, we have helped create a stunning visual masterpiece for the town and I’m delighted that our involvement has contributed to such an excellent end result.”

Peter McCaughey lead artist of WAVEparticle said:

“This has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know people and organisations in Kilmarnock. Their wealth of knowledge has helped to make an artwork in the train station underpass that enlivens that space, celebrating Kilmarnock and the things that make the town strong. Kilmarnock’s history and heritage, its inventiveness, its artist networks, its writers, poets, storytellers and especially its children, are all here.

“We are delighted that the work also includes fantastic designs and drawings created by pupils from the local schools and by students from Ayrshire College, and that everyone can enjoy their talent and imagination.”