PULLING people into Southampton for this summer’s art extravaganza has been boosted by a trio of railway firms backing it.

Marwell’s Zany Zebras will be hitting the streets of the city for a ten-week public art extravaganza as people are invited to spot a herd of zebra sculptures on a trail.

• Marwell's Zany Zebras - in pictures >>

Businesses, organisations, schools and charities are signing up to sponsor a sculpture on the trail and Marwell Wildlife say the latest firms to back a zebra include Three Rivers Community Rail Partnership, South West Trains and East Hampshire Community Rail Partnership.

South West Trains supports a number of community-based projects in local areas and at their railway stations.

Working with Three Rivers Community Rail Partnership and the East Hampshire Community Rail Partnership, who act as local and active links between the rail industry and volunteers, residents, businesses and attractions, the company helps to promote local tourism in the area whilst providing sustainable transport to many great destinations.

The backing means the reach of the zebras has been widened as scores more visitors will hear about the art event of the summer.

Mark Miller, rail officer for the Three Rivers and East Hampshire Community Rail Partnerships said: “We are delighted to support this fantastic cause by sponsoring one of Marwell’s Zany Zebras.”

Richard Kempton, community rail liaison manager for South West Trains added: “We looking forward to supporting communities and endangered zebras in Kenya and welcome zebra-spotting passengers on our trains.”

The trail begins in July when a dazzle of Marwell’s Zany Zebras will gallop through the streets of Southampton, creating a fun, family friendly trail.

Kirstie Mathieson, project manager for Marwell’s Zany Zebras said: “We are delighted that South West Trains and the Three Rivers and East Hampshire Community Rail Partnerships have joined the stampede.

"We look forward to welcoming thousands of train passengers into the city over the summer showcasing what Southampton has to offer.”

A mini trail is also planned for around Marwell Zoo itself.

Along with the larger sculptures, scores of schools have signed up to decorate a smaller Zebra statue, with a mini trail also planned for around Marwell Zoo itself.

The project that comes after the success of the Go! Rhino trail in 2013 is aimed at raising awareness and funds to help conservation work the zoo does with the Grevy zebra breed around the world.