You are here: Domus Ars Mechanica The Train of Pius IX (Centrale Montemartini - Rome)



Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti, who became pope on 16 June 1846 taking the name Pius IX, was fully aware of the key role that railways would play in the economic, social and political development of European nations in the immediate future. In 1846, soon after his election, he gave orders for the construction of a series of railways linking Rome to the leading cities of the Papal States.

The papal train was built in 1858 at the initiative of the Pio Centrale and Pio Latina companies, which commissioned them from French companies as a gift for the pope. On 3 July 1859 the Pope made his maiden journey in these luxurious carriages, travelling from the Porta Maggiore train station, the terminus of the papal railways, to Cecchina station, Albano.

After the Capture of Rome in 1870, the train was left in sidings in Civitavecchia and then moved to Roma Termini where it was stripped of a number of its decorations. In 1911, after being recognised as an important historical document, it was restored by the Italian State Railways and placed on show at Castel Sant’Angelo to mark the fifty year celebrations of the Kingdom of Italy. In 1930, the Italian State gave it to the Municipality of Rome and it was transferred to the newly established Museo di Roma, first in Via dei Cerchi and then, from 1951 onwards, to the new museum site in Palazzo Braschi.

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Parent Category: Ars
Category: Mechanica

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