L. S. Lowry’s lithograph print, Level Crossing With Train from 1973 shows an image of a LNER locomotive, thought to have originally been painted in Burton on Trent. The print shows figures looking to cross the tracks in the very foreground of the image, and the railway guard who waves a red flag and blows his whistle, whilst the steam locomotive appears to travel at speed through the frame.
Level Crossing With Train is indicative of Lowry’s desire to capture the urban life of the people in towns and cities after the industrial revolution. The steam locomotive is the hallmark of the industrial revolution and so is an apt subject for Lowry to depict. The print shows the frenetic movement of the train and pedestrians to create a dynamic composition that catches the viewer’s eye.
Steam from the train and smoke from the smokestacks in the faint background blend into the sky and atmosphere, showing almost no distinction between the industrial and the natural. Lowry depicts the sky in the same off-white colour as the ground to emphasise this sense of the unclean atmosphere of the inner cities and smoke filled air.