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A picture by Graham Hobbs of the 08:30 service from Hamworthy speeding through Holes Bay at Poole, Dorset (above), has won the Network Rail Lines in the Landscape award as part of the Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year competition.

The small, wrecked rowing boat rests in the foreground, juxtaposing the old with the new beside a timeless expanse of open water. The stunning image by Graham Hobbs, himself from Dorset, was chosen by Charlie Waite, renowned landscape photographer and founder of the competition.

Mr Hobbs beat more than 500 entries from across Britain. He wins the chance to take some
aerial pictures with a flight in Network Rail’s engineering inspection helicopter or its New Measurement Train, a converted high speed train used to capture geotechnical track data.

Says Graham, ‘That’s really thrilling news. The competition has become a showcase of really high quality British outdoor photography and my ambition each year is no more than to try to make an image good enough to get into the book, a considerable achievement in itself. To be told you’re an award winner – and what an exciting prize – is the best possible news to cheer up a gloomy autumn day.’

Tom Kelly, Network Rail’s director of corporate communications said, ‘This photograph is a worthy winner as it captures what the Lines in the Landscape award is all about. The railway is an integral part of our landscape and our lives.

‘It is only one part of this stunning scene but the speed of the train is juxtaposed delightfully with the stillness of the water and the boat wreck. Congratulations to Graham and to all those commended in this year’s competition.’

Says Charlie Waite, ‘The winning Lines in the Landscape photograph and indeed many of the entries in this category, remind me so completely of the extensive and expanding railway network that serves Britain.
Graham’s picture is a deserving winner and perhaps we may reflect for a moment that this train would not have been empty but would have been carrying people to their homes or workplaces as do so many thousands of trains that run daily. Our railways allow us to look out at many a fine landscape and, whilst it is easy to take our railway network for granted, without it our nation would be so much the poorer and of that there can be no doubt.’

This is the third year that Network Rail has supported the competition where amateurs and professional photographers highlight the very best imagery of Britain’s rural and urban scenery. Once again, the best images will be displayed at a free exhibition at the National Theatre in London from 12 November.

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