Savigliano is home to the oldest and most modern train factory in our country: it has been building railway vehicles for over 150 years and Pendolino, the pride of the national industry and exported all over the world, is now in light.
Which city is best suited to host the Piedmontese Railway Museum?
The birth of the Museum dates back to 1978 but only in the nineties did the first concrete possibility emerge for the museum to secure a place in which to shelter and exhibit the rolling stock that is gradually being added to the collection.
The Savigliano Railway Museum preserves historical material, models and locomotives, some of which are steam-powered. Historic trains are used for tourist routes.
The set-up is developed in several sections, an internal part dedicated to models and models from various eras and an external part, certainly the most fascinating, consisting of a revolving platform, very interesting testimony of industrial mechanization and numerous trains, locomotives and trains.
The museum is entirely managed by volunteers who also take care of the maintenance and restoration of the same trains, with a philosophy that guides them, a sort of motto and mission in this place of rails:
Trains have a history. The trains tell the stories of those who built them, who led them, who travelled there. It is a priceless heritage, which is part of our culture and which must not be dispersed, but valued and handed down.
Here is what the volunteers say about the museum activities:
- “We collect all kinds of railway vehicles, from steam locomotives to the modern Pendolino “.
- We keep control equipment for circulation, work tools, memorabilia and documents of those who designed, built and lived the railway.
- We restore the vehicles in the Savigliano headquarters or in the Turin Ponte Mosca workshop, combining the modern discoveries with the original construction techniques.
- Whenever possible we operate a complete functional recovery of the vehicle, for a future tourist use on our railways.
What makes the museum a flagship of Savigliano, the city of Pendolino, is the fact that many of the trains, including the revolving platform, are fully functional and set in motion on special occasions and visits.
The Museum’s exhibition area
The Museum’s exhibition area is located on an area of over 30 thousand square meters situated at the confluence of the Turin-Savona and Savigliano-Saluzzo-Cuneo lines, which includes the multi-purpose building and the fleet of vehicles on display.
The external exposition unfolds for the most part around the 21 meter revolving platform: the heart of the museum, it is the first to be a valuable find.
It was built in the 1920s, it is fully functional; had the purpose of orienting the steam locomotives (which, with few exceptions, had only one optimal direction of travel) and to sort them in the characteristic “round”, the adjoining circular sector. The Museum building reproduces a plant of this type.
You pass by the head station, with two tracks and the sidewalks to pick up the passengers, to arrive at the sorting beam used to display wagons and carriages and to shelter the means not intended for exhibition. These are functioning exchanges with all active tracks, so as to allow trains to carry out manoeuvres, departures and arrivals, in accordance with the vocation of “living museum” of the Piedmontese Railway Museum.
In the outer space between the museum building and the head station, a miniature railway system has also been set up which allows the circulation of commercial models on all tracks, and “live steam” models.
Future expansion projects are under continuous review, because the current structure does not yet allow to host the entire patrimony of over sixty vehicles acquired in the past years by the Museum.
Visitors to the Museum can still have an overview of the final appearance of the complex thanks to the model, made by the master model maker Nanni Moro, displayed in the reception area of the central building.