Late 19th-century documents illustrating the feat of the Fréjus tunnel: this is the historical collection that TELT brought together in a conference room of its headquarters in Turin and which are now available online. The operation has been carried out to “preserve and share the roots,” explains the Director General of the public promoter, Mario Virano, and to “give a meaning to the future” now under construction in the form of the cross-border section of the Lyon-Turin line, part of the Mediterranean Corridor within the European TEN-T network.
The Italian-French company has decided to arrange a guided tour that can be experienced online in order to meet the requests for visits and closer analysis of the issue by various stakeholders and visitors.
Two collectors, Marco Albera and Piero Gondolo dalla Riva, are the guides of this collection. They have explored the history of the excavation of the tunnel (1857-1871) from different perspectives, studying the documents of the 19th-century project and the information printed and circulated in the press at that time.
The narrative layout is divided into five ‘corners’ and follows a chronological order. Documents and illustrative materials are used to show how the Alps were crossed before the construction of the tunnel. The tour continues with the Fell railway, the excavation of the Fréjus tunnel with the technological innovations introduced, the new railway in operation, and the inauguration.
The collection offers “a view into the history of the project” – explains Virano – “but also into the work we are carrying out, because the adventure continues”.
Together with the video already made that recounts the opening of the tunnel in 1871, this virtual tour is part of TELT’s initiatives for the 150th anniversary of the excavation, which will be celebrated in September 2021.