News from East Midlands Trains


Just the ticket! Artist uses thousands of recycled train tickets to create iconic portraits

  • The top 10 greatest East Midlanders revealed in mosaic form, with Sir David Attenborough and Sir Isaac Newton topping the list

British artist Ed Chapman, 47, has spent more than 280 hours creating a series of 10 celebrity portraits using recycled paper train tickets from across the East Midlands.

Commissioned by East Midlands Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, to raise awareness of the benefits of new mobile tickets, the portraits include famous faces from the region, including Sir David Attenborough, Gary Lineker, and Dame Vivienne Westwood.

Chapman - Ticket Portraits

Just over 3,000 tickets were used to create the artworks, representing the average number of paper tickets East Midlands Trains sell every hour across its network. New mobile tickets (m-Tickets) are completely paperless and stored on your smartphone.

The famous faces recreated by Ed were chosen by the public, who were asked to vote for their greatest ever East Midlands sons and daughters.

Top of the list was Leicester-born naturalist Sir David Attenborough, followed by Woolsthorpe’s Sir Isaac Newton and Nottingham’s legendary character Robin Hood. Rounding out the top-five ‘greatest East Midlanders’ were David’s older brother Richard Attenborough, famous for The Great Escape and Jurassic Park, and England footballer Gary Lineker.

Further down the list, the East Midlands produced Melton Mowbray Pork Pie was a surprise nomination, but just missed out on the top 10 - coming in at 11th.  But, the picnic favourite still received more votes than Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Tess Daly, and Monty Python’s Graham Chapman.

Artist Ed Chapman says: “It was quite a surreal moment seeing all of these famous faces come to life in front of me from what originally started as a pile of discarded paper tickets. The colourings on train tickets are unique and distinct, that once I started playing around with some they actually lent themselves perfectly to mosaics.

“Not only are the images of famous faces from the East Midlands, but the craft materials themselves have each travelled on a different journey across the region, each with its own story from station to station.

“Hopefully it will inspire a few people to cut down on their paper ticket use – or even create their own artworks.”

Ed Chapman, 47, is an acclaimed British mosaic artist, whose previous works include a portrait of Jimi Hendrix made entirely from guitar picks, a mosaic of David Beckham created out of old pennies and recreated tennis-star Andy Murray in carpet stains.

Jake Kelly, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains says: “What Ed has done with a few thousand old and unused paper tickets is pretty remarkable. As well as bringing a smile to a few faces, we want to use these artworks to raise awareness about the benefits of using mobile tickets. As well as saving time and hassle at the station, there’s a clear environmental benefit to adopting digital tickets.

“These tickets represent just one hour’s worth of paper tickets sold across our network, with over 28,000,000 tickets printed across the whole year. By the end of 2018, we aim to have fully rolled out mobile tickets across the entire network and so significantly cut down on this number.”

With m-Tickets, passengers now have the option to jump straight on board the train without needing to collect paper tickets at the station – while customers who wish to continue using papers tickets can still do so. They are part of East Midlands Trains and Stagecoach’s commitment to making it simple and easy for customers to travel right across the UK.

Jason Webb, Deputy Managing Director of Customer Experience at the Rail Delivery Group, which brings together train companies and Network Rail to enable a better railway, said:

“Ed’s portraits are a great way to celebrate famous faces from the East Midlands and mark the roll out of new mobile tickets that are convenient and will help customers save time.

“Working together, as part of our plan to change and improve, train companies are rolling out technology that means customers can use their mobile phones as tickets on seven out of 10 journeys by the end of this year.”

Top 10 Greatest Ever East Midlanders





Sir David Attenborough

Leicester, Leicestershire


Sir Isaac Newton

Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire


Robin Hood

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire


Sir Richard Attenborough

Leicester, Leicestershire


Gary Lineker

Leicester, Leicestershire


Jennifer Saunders

Sleaford, Lincolnshire


Sir John Hurt

Chesterfield, Derbyshire


Alan Carr

Northampton, Northamptonshire


Dame Vivienne Westwood

Glossop, Derbyshire


Matt Smith

Northampton, Northamptonshire