As The Great Big Rhino Trail prepares to launch, one rhino is making a grand entrance – pulled by a steam train!
Paignton By Numbers is sponsored by the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company. He will stand on the platform at Kingswear station – and travel down from Paignton on his own special train.
Sereny Damon, from the steam railway, said: “This is a collaboration rhino, a destination rhino, celebrating family holidays, steam railways, the beach, the pier, pleasure cruisers and the countryside. He’s making his way to his holiday home at Kingswear by train!”
The public will not be able to ride the train with Paignton By Numbers, but they will be able to watch it go by. Paignton By Numbers departs from Paignton station at 11.30 on Friday 22nd July aboard his special train to Kingswear. He will stop at Churston station (arriving 11.50) before reaching Kingswear station (arriving 12.10). At Kingswear, Paignton By Numbers will be installed as part of The Great Big Rhinos free summer art trail – but he’ll be kept under wraps until the official start of the trail on Saturday 30th July.
Peter Roach, Operations Manager, said: “We often see passengers accompanied by their faithful four legged friends, but we have never had a rhino on board before. We hope everyone will enjoy tracking down the rhinos across South Devon over the summer and through public support the rhino will be saved from extinction, just as steam locos were saved in the 1960s.”
Paignton by Numbers, designed by artist Rachel Shilston, is a play on words, taking its inspiration from the DIY ‘painting by numbers’ kits popular with children. The rhino is painted to appear unfinished but does feature some of Paignton’s favourite landmarks, including the Zoo, the pier and the beach huts at Goodrington Sands.
Andrew Pooley, Managing Director, said: “There’s a natural connection between rhinos and steam engines – they both look ironclad, they both snort and steam when they are at full tilt, they are both endangered species – and they are both wonderful to see in their natural habitat!”
The Great Big Rhino Project is putting a free public art trail around the streets, parks and open spaces of Exeter and the English Riviera, encouraging thousands of people to enjoy the spectacle. The trail comes alive on Saturday 30th July. Twitter @Greatbigrhinos, hashtag #greatbigrhinos.