Born of a passion, created to last
As with many other museums, it is the passion of an industrialist that is at the origin of the French Railway Museum.
In fact, it was in 1964 that Jean-Mathis Horrenberger, an industrialist from Mulhouse, had the idea of opening a museum dedicated to his passion: the railway. Seduced, the city of Mulhouse, the Société Industrielle de Mulhouse, the Ministry of Transport and the SNCF joined his project.
With Michel Doerr, a specialist in rail transport and a member of the Association Française des Amis du Chemin de Fer (AFAC), he developed the museum’s collection. This was presented to the public in 1971, first on the site of the former Mulhouse Nord steam depot, then in 1976 in its current premises in Dornach.
Becoming the Cité du Train in 2005, the museum was then completely renovated to present thousands of railway objects and 151 pieces of equipment from the French railway heritage collection. It now incorporates a very lively staging, rich in sounds and videos, for an even more exciting experience!
50,000 m2 dedicated to the train
The size of the museum and its collection are impressive: the Cité du Train is among the 10 largest museums in the world dedicated to railroads!
On the show route, the railroad comes in exciting themes: vacations, mountains, railroaders, etc. And also the official trains, so the car of General de Gaulle equipped with a 2.10m bed ☺.
Board for a trip back in time, and discover the fabulous steam locomotives, including the Buddicon No. 33 “Saint Peter”, which is the oldest preserved in Europe. In the “Steam, how does it work?” area, you can even see and hear the 232 U 1 steam locomotive start up every 20 minutes!
Relive the arrival of diesel, electricity, and the evolutions of train travel throughout the 20th century. Admire the lines of the first train running at 200 km/h, the Capitole, put into service in 1976, and the mythical lines of the first TGV, star of the rails since 1981.