Why a Railway Museum in Lecce?

The A.I.S.A.F. Onlus and the Association Railway Recreational Club of Lecce, in agreement with the FS Museum Activity and Railway Historical Culture Office, on 1999 promote the realization of a railway museum in Lecce, as an tool for the valorization of the city area and the provincial and regional territory, thanks to the cultural potentialities and of tourist callback of this initiative.

Transports Museums, and railway ones in particular, are widely spread and appreciated all over the world, but they constitute a rarity in Italy, in particular in the South (where only the Pietrarsa Railway National Museum exists, near Naples).

The location of a Railway Museum in Lecce assumes a particular meant for the presence of the Italian most extensive railway network under government licence (the Railroads of the South-East), rich of remarkable peculiarities that can be testified by the conservation of old still existing rolling stock and can be converted to a new tourist and didactic use for which the museum could be valid landmark.

The Project
  • Collection and preservation of rolling stock of historical interest for the Puglia and nearby regions
  • Dedicated sections, not only to the italian State Railroads FS and to the Railroads of South-East, but also the Gargano's Railroads, the North Bari Railroad, the Appulo Lucane Railroads
  • Exposure of plastic model and dioramas realized by the railroad modellers group of the Railway Recreational Club of Lecce 
  • Documentation Center about the history of the rail transports in Puglia and in particular in the ionic-salentina area, in collaboration with the Department of Historical Studies of the University of Salento
  • Landmark for the organization of promotional, didactic and tourist activities 
  • Institution of an historical train, in order to carry out evocative didactic and tourist trains on the lines of Salento

The exhibition structure
The selected location for the Museum is the former Lift Service of Lecce, situated on the opposite side with respect to the Station building, entering from Via Giuseppe Codacci Pisanelli nr.3. It is constituted by two side by side structures. 

The first, dated to the Thirties, in masonry and armed concrete, in optimal state of conservation, accommodates two contiguous tracks and some large rooms, that could contain the materials to be exposed, the library with the documentation center and the services.
The second, the most recent one, is a shed with a metallic structure that covers others three tracks. 
The five tracks, with a covered total length of approximately 250 meters, are accessible directly from the south root of the station and would concur to accommodate many historical rolling stocks, in ideal conditions for their preservation and visit.
The Museum ... in 1/87 scale

Total surface of the area: sqm. 4.103
Covered surface: sqm. 2.103
- exhibition rooms and services sqm.    423
- shed with cover in masonry sqm.    660
- shed with metallic cover sqm.  1020
Uncovered pertaining surface: sqm. 2.400

The sheds of the former Lift Service of Lecce


After many big obstacles, and thanks to the help of some railway manager and workers, starting from 2000 many historical rolling stocks found in Puglia have been carried in Lecce and recovered under the sheds. In the meanwhile all areas have been cleaned and make suitable to offer a small and provisional visit tour. Many primary and secondary school classes have visited the rolling stock collection, and also many railway fan or simple tourist groups.

Night views on May 2004
In order to offer a more complete knowledge of the railway world, some thematic rooms have been temporary  prepared, referring to the railway wagon (mainly CIWL), to the evolution of signalling and to model railways.
These rooms have been dismantled during rebuilding works and will be replaced by new ones.