Ria Hartley

The Train Project

The Train Project

The Train Project (2011) was an artist driven initiative aiming to provide a meeting ground for multiple users of rail and internet networks. From the 14th – 28th September 2011, I embarked on a continuous journey across the UK on the national railway lines, only changing platforms and carriages but never leaving the stations.

The project explored the ways in which these everyday spaces could be used as a challenging environment to address issues regarding mobility and connectivity, as well as, to expand notions of what a performance can be. Along these networks, people move around and engage with their surroundings. The train project sparked an investigation of these familiar places, asking passengers to direct me helping us to rethink or re-imagine our experiences when in motion.

This interactive and transient journey aimed to capture the ‘brief encounters’ we have with strangers in everyday life. Prior to this projects launch I presented a pitch on Crowdfunder to gain the funding for this work. Not only did the donations provide the basis for this project, but the investors acted as a direct input into the points of departure and navigation during my travel. Each investor has entered into a contract whereby I agreed to either meet them in person at any train station in the UK and deliver an ‘item’ to a person of their choice at any other station in the UK or leave for them a hidden message at a station. This invited investors to be directly involved in the project’s process and further strengthens the online and offline points of connection during the project.

The ‘physical journey’ was documented with regular updates and video broadcasts which were captured on The Train Project facebook page and The Train Project Youtube page.


An artist talk and practical information about crowdfunding an arts project is available on request.

Please contact me for further information

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© 2018 Ria Hartley