Alweg Torino 1961

The Alweg Train

In the year 1961 a very special exhibition called “Italia 61”, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the modern state of Italy, took place in Torino. One of the main attractions was a 1.2 km long single-beam Alweg monorail line with a three-unit Alweg train. The train was technically equipped for a top speed of 80km/h.

Design and Transport of the Train

The construction workers designed the train under the aegis of the Alweg Company of Cologne. They built it under supervision of Alweg engineers by Linke-Hofmann-Busch in Salzgitter, Germany. They transported the train first via the German Federal Railway from Salzgitter to Cologne. Then they moved it with a special transport trailer to the Alweg test facility in Cologne-Fühlingen. There they thoroughly inspected the train, test-drove it and then transported it – again by railway – to Torino, Italy, to arrive in time for the opening of the exhibition there. They expected the train to carry about 25.000 riders per day.

Connecting the City and Suburbs

It looked as if after the exhibition the Alweg line would be extended to a length of 12 kilometers to connect the inner city with the exhibition grounds and the suburban area of Moncalieri. The planners had very optimistically already designed the trains for this line on the drawing boards of the Alweg design department in Cologne.

The Forgotten Chapter of the Story

However, soon after the end of the exhibition, the construction workers disassembled most parts of the beamway. The general public eventually forgot about this chapter of the Alweg story. Amazingly the construction works allowed the very solidly built train-shed structure that was part of the “north-end station” to remain in tact. The workers even left some parts of the beamway standing. These concrete structures were still standing there in the early 2000s. They posed something of an architectural riddle for most observers who nowadays know nothing about the old Alweg line there. Even the beautiful Alweg train remained in its shed for several years. Vandalism and arson finally destroyed it in the end.