From Realtà Mapei International n° 74 - 21/05/2019
Overlooking the Italian Gulf of Naples, the museum contains a unique collection of historical railway carriages and locomotives.
The redevelopment of such a charming place was only made possible by taking the utmost care in the final aesthetic result, to highlight the historical significance of the structure, and by developing a durable technical solution that would provide protection and resist the aggressive action of salt from the sea that makes the skyline of the Workshops so poetic.
And to achieve such a wonderful result, Mapei supplied branded solutions for the façades with products and systems from the lime-based, cement-free MAPE-ANTIQUE and siloxane-based SILANCOLOR ranges.
The first stretch of the Italian rail network was inaugurated on the 3rd of October, 1839 by King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies. The stretch was a little more than 7 km long and the journey from Naples to Portici took 11 minutes, with passengers travelling in two trains designed by the engineer Armand Bayard de la Vingtrie, based on a prototype of the Rocket locomotive designed by George Stephenson.
The first of 7 workshops specialised in the building, maintenance and repair of rail stock was built in 1842 in the Pietrarsa area of Portici. Following the Unification of Italy, the workshops were taken over by the Italian Government and continued their activity as a building, maintenance and repair centre for the large steam trains in use at the time.
The workshops were finally closed down in 1975 and, in 1989, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Italian railway network, the Italian National Railway Museum was inaugurated inside the workshops complex.
RESTORATION AND REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT
The National Railway Museum in Pietrarsa has been given a new lease of life: on the 31st of March, 2017, the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, inaugurated the newly-restored museum complex.
The complex is made up of seven structures extending over an area of 36,000 m2, of which 14,000 are covered. Inside the museum there are 55 steam trains, Fiat Littorina trains and carriages, models of trains, a large, 18 m-long model called “Trecentotreni” (three hundred trains), the official state carriage of the President of Italy, an imposing statue of King Ferdinand II and the Liberty-style royal state-room with its pure gold ceiling.
After 20 years of deterioration caused by the salty air and a lack of maintenance, around 15 million Euros were invested to restore the museum.
The most significant work included restoration work on the buildings where the trains and carriages are displayed, new lighting systems, refurbishment of the stone floors outside and around the museum, the installation of a new glass parapet along the promenade, restoration work on the nineteenth-century, cast-iron platform, a new layout for the gardens, restoration work on the building and platform at the train stop in Pietrarsa, restoration work on the large cast-iron statue of King Ferdinand II, refurbishment of the convention centre and a restyling of all the internal areas.