Marcus Rashford mural artist unveils new piece at Huddersfield Railway Station to mark its 175-year history

Commuters at Huddersfield Railway Station will be sure to have a lovely day when greeted by a new piece of artwork unveiled by the creator of Manchester's famous Marcus Rashford mural.

The station’s illustrious history is being celebrated by operators TransPennine Express, to mark its 175th birthday.

Well known street artist Akse, who was behind the Marcus Rashford mural in Withington, Manchester, was commissioned by the train company to help celebrate the station’s rich history.

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To mark the occasion, commuters stepping onto the platform at Huddersfield are being greeted by the lyrics of Bill Withers’ song, Lovely Day.

Artist Akse unveils new artwork at Huddersfield Railway Station after it was commissioned by TransPennine Express

It is hoped the temporary artwork will provide cheer to passengers as the world re-opens.

Artist Akse, whose mural of Rashford was projected back into headlines recently following an outpouring of support for the footballer subjected to vile racist abuse after missing a crucial penalty in the Euro finals last month, said he hoped his latest piece would provide joy to those reuniting with loved ones as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

“It was a joy to work on this installation with TransPennine Express,” he said.

“There was a definite uplift in the atmosphere at the station and I’m sure that customers will enjoy reading or singing the lyrics as they travel on the trains to reunite with family and friends.”

Huddersfield Railway Station today

Reminiscent of a stately home, Huddersfield’s station building was designed by York architect James Pigott Pritchett and erected by Joseph Kaye, with the first foundation stone laid in 1846.

The line was completed less than a year later and became an integral cog in the town’s prolific role trading in the textiles and engineering industries.

The station's facade, meanwhile, was once described by poet laureate Sir John Betjeman as “the most splendid in England”, and today remains the second busiest railway station in the county, after Leeds, connecting the town to Newcastle, Hull, Manchester, Liverpool and further afield.

Its legacy has remained in tact long after Betjeman waxed lyrical of its grandeur, however, and in 2014 it was named by English Heritage as one of the nation’s finest.

Artist Akse unveils new artwork at Huddersfield Railway Station after it was commissioned by TransPennine Express

The station’s resident pest controllers - cats named Felix and Bolt - meanwhile, have garnered international attention on social media and even have their own cat flap to avoid the ticket barriers, and there have even been two books written on their escapades.

Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director for TransPennine Express, said: “We know now, more than ever, that getting together has never felt better and we wanted to celebrate the important role we have in reuniting friends, family and loves ones right across the North and into Scotland with artwork that would bring a smile to customers and colleagues travelling through the station.”

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Huddersfield Railway Station was originally built in the 1840s and has been described as the "most splendid" station building in England