Prince visits to the exhibition at Monaco railway station: “The signal project of a reign: undergrounding the railway. 1958 – 1999”
Their Serene Highnesses Prince Albert II and Princess Stéphanie of Monaco yesterday evening visited the railway station, travelling via the Galerie Sainte-Dévote and the platform to the main hall, where they saw the exhibition “The signal project of a reign: undergrounding the railway (1958–1999)”.
The exhibition, which is open to all and runs until 31 December 2023 as part of commemorations marking the centenary of the birth of Prince Rainier III, shows users of the station what a crucial role the Prince played in developing the Principality.
The old overground railway line, which had served Monaco and Monte-Carlo separately since 1868, wound its way along the seafront and literally split the Principality in two. Rainier III, the visionary “builder Prince” as he came to be known, was quick to grasp the benefits of moving the track underground. The living environment was immediately improved, and land was freed up for other uses, making way for new buildings, green spaces and seaside areas, as well as numerous mechanised footpaths and escalators.
Thomas Fouilleron, director of the Prince’s Palace Archives and Library, and Vincent Vatrican, director of the Audiovisual Institute of Monaco, have assembled a richly documented retrospective on the impressive project which took a total of forty-one years in two phases. It was eventually completed in time for Prince Rainier III’s Jubilee in 1999.