FROM THE FRENCH RAILWAY MUSEUM TO THE CITÉ DU TRAIN
The equipment and traction department of the SNCF decide to gather the 36 pieces of railway equipment stored in the former warehouse of Chalon-sur-Saône.
The president of the AFAC (Association Française des Amis du Chemin de Fer), Daniel Claire, brings out a catalogue written by Michel DOERR, “Chemin de fer d’hier pour un musée ferroviaire français”, which attracts the attention of the Société Industrielle de Mulhouse (SIM - industrial society of Mulhouse) and of a young industrial, Jean-Mathis HORRENBERGER.
The latter creates the association AMFCF (Association du Musée Français du Chemin de Fer) whose aim is to create and develop a French railway museum in Mulhouse.
The SNCF, in partnership with the Ministry of Transport, accepts the proposition of the SIM.
The French railway museum temporarily opens its doors, on the location of the former steam railway depot of Mulhouse Nord.
At the same time, the city of Mulhouse starts the construction of a building which will host a few years later the collection of equipment heritage of the SNCF.
The French railway museum moves to its new location in Dornach where 52 moving machines from the SNCF collection are being showcased on 6000 m² of exhibition space.
As the exhibition space gains 6 new tracks, the museum sets a new attendance record. It receives the diploma “Prestige de la France”.
The leaders of the museum decide to undergo massive work. Amongst other things, the project contains a new exhibition space, financed by state and regional aids.
The French railway museum becomes the Cité du Train and hosts a new exhibition building of 6000 m² with 27 pieces of railway equipment divided into 6 themes.
The historical building of the museum is entirely revisited and offers a permanent chronological exhibition about the railway history in France: “The Platforms of History”. This exhibition is launched on the 29th of April by the president of the SNCF, Guillaume PEPY, and the president of Mulhouse Alsace Agglomération, Jean-Marie BOCKEL.
The exhibition space of the Cité du Train gains more than 10,000 m² with the creation of the “Railway Panorama”, an outdoor area dedicated to railway activities and permanent as well as temporary exhibitions of railway equipment.
The Cité du Train becomes the “Cité du Train - Patrimoine SNCF”. Today, it is the biggest railway museum in Europe, and welcomes 100,000 visitors each year.