The entire tunnel is being painted - floor to ceiling, both sides, from end to end (that's more than 140 metres!)
Travelling through it will be like going through the inside of an illustrated novel. The inner wall is beginning to bear Robert Louis Stevenson's poem "From a Railway Carriage", i.e. the words on the top of each of the three lines, which is being richly illustrated. Each line then links to images on the opposite wall (the bottom half of each line), which are scenes that reflect elements of Colinton's history and heritage. The two sides will be connected by images flying across the ceiling, where the recently-upgraded lighting shows them to best effect. Our lead muralist, Chris Rutterford, is working with professional artists, volunteers and over 450 young people.
Here's the poem in full:
Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone for ever!
The wet areas inside the tunnel are being addressed by mounting marine plywood above the bricks, so that water can run at the back and air can circulate. That technique also enables finer detail to be painted, as the boards are smoother than bricks. They also enable us to have schools, youth groups, art clubs, etc., working on sections of the mural in comfort and safety.