Avanti West Coast Artemsia at Ikon Gallery

Hunt for National Treasures by rail with Avanti West Coast

Families encouraged to travel by train to join in with the National Gallery's Bicentenary celebrations.

  • Avanti West Coast partners with the National Gallery for their Bicentenary celebrations
  • Works of art from the Gallery will be displayed in Birmingham, Liverpool and Edinburgh
  • Families encouraged to travel by train this half-term to see displays and join activities
  • Avanti West Coast has partnered with the National Gallery as part of their Bicentenary celebrations creating an opportunity to see famous paintings away from their London home.

    With the school holidays here, the intercity operator is promoting the institution’s ‘National Treasures by Rail’ campaign which has seen 12 works of art temporarily relocated to art galleries around the UK, with three on the Avanti network.

    Ikon Gallery in Birmingham is displaying Artemisia Gentileschi’s ‘Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria’; The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool is exhibiting ‘The Rokeby Venus’; and Vermeer’s ‘A Young Woman Standing at a Virginal’ is on display at the National in Edinburgh.

    The campaign is a key part of the National Gallery’s Bicentenary celebrations where the loaned artworks will be celebrated with individual events at each of the 12 galleries. Some of these activities will be available during the half-term school holidays, giving families an opportunity for a fun day out by train.

    For the duration of ‘National Treasures’, 35 million people - more than half the UK population - will be within an hour’s journey of a National Gallery masterpiece​. Avanti West Coast, an official travel partner for the campaign, is encouraging people to travel by train to the exhibitions on its network, with a range of cost-effective tickets including Advance single fares and its Superfare ticket for those with greater flexibility.

    Sarah Copley, Commercial Director at Avanti West Coast, said: “We are proud to play a part in supporting the National Gallery with this fantastic campaign which will bring these masterpieces to cities around the UK.

    “With the school holidays upon us, this is the perfect time to travel by train to be inspired by these paintings, as well as join in with all the creative events which will be run by each gallery.”

    Alexandra Kavanagh, Head of National Touring at the National Gallery, London, said, “The National Treasures project aims to put more people than ever before in easy distance of great paintings from the National Gallery - and what better way to visit the National Treasures than by rail. We are delighted to be partnering with Avanti West Coast to promote the exhibitions in Birmingham, Liverpool and Edinburgh, bringing art to where people are and giving them another reason to visit their local museums.”


Contact Information

Notes to editors

Picture caption: Avanti West Coast colleague looks at Artemisia at IKON Gallery in Birmingham.

For more information on train times and tickets – customers should visit avantiwestcoast.co.uk

About Avanti West Coast

Avanti West Coast, operator of intercity rail services on the West Coast Main Line, is a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, delivering a cleaner, greener railway that drives the West Coast forward.

We’re on a mission to revolutionise train travel. Our refurbed Pendolinos have returned to the rails with a £117m investment that’s delivering the best in class comfort. Known as the UK’s hardest working fleet, the programme is transforming all 56 of these iconic trains boasting better seats, improved lighting, new interior carpets, customer-friendly passenger information screens, additional luggage space, power points at every seat and refurbished toilets.

New Hitachi trains are set to replace our Voyagers from 2024. The 23-strong fleet, consisting of 10 seven-carriage electric trains and 13 five-carriage bi-modes, will serve routes from London to the Midlands, Chester, North Wales and the North West, leading to a substantial cut in carbon emissions with an increase in seats, and offering improved comfort. Quieter and roomier, with more reliable Wi-Fi, wireless charging for electrical devices and a real-time customer information system, these new trains are the result of a £350m investment in sustainable travel.

We’re tackling climate change wherever we can, from reducing energy and water use to training drivers in eco-driving techniques and sourcing food and drink from local suppliers. Our goal is to be net zero carbon by 2031. We’re on track.

For the latest news, visit the Avanti West Coast Media Centre: https://newsdesk.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/

Press Office: 0845 000 3333

About National Gallery

The National Gallery is one of the greatest art galleries in the world. Founded by Parliament in 1824, the Gallery houses the nation’s collection of paintings in the Western European tradition from the late 13th to the early 20th century. The collection includes works by Bellini, Cezanne, Degas, Leonardo, Monet, Raphael, Rembrandt, Renoir, Rubens, Titian, Turner, Van Dyck, Van Gogh and Velázquez. The Gallery’s key objectives are to enhance the collection, care for the collection and provide the best possible access to visitors. Admission free. More at nationalgallery.org.uk

X, Twitter @nationalgallery
Facebook @thenationalgallery
Instagram @nationalgallery
YouTube The National Gallery
TikTok @nationalgallerylondon
Threads @nationalgallery