Rome’s Termini Train Station Revamp
ROME’S CENTRAL STATION GETS A REVAMP
Rome’s Termini Station, one of the busiest railway hubs in Europe, is in for its first major facelift in 13 years as construction gets underway on a parking garage and shopping gallery that will ‘float’ above the tracks.
The twin structures will span the full length of the station, hanging over the platforms like a bridge with ten glass elevators and over a dozen stairways and escalators providing access to the levels below.
The gallery will have shops, restaurants and rest areas that look out onto the tracks, providing travellers with a comfortable, air-conditioned place to wait for their trains.
The station’s operator Grandi Stazioni says it will be a freestanding structure built to withstand the vibrations from trains or even an earthquake thanks to ultra-light materials and an anti-seismic design.
The elevated parking garage will be the first of its kind for a train station in Europe, adding more than 1,300 new parking spaces to a facility which currently has less than 200. Fabbio Battagia, CEO of train station operator Grande Stazioni, says that parking garage will answer a common gripe among Termini’s commuters.
‘Our surveys show that a lack of parking at the station is the biggest inconvenience for our customers. We’re trying to resolve that now,’ he said To ensure its users safety in a part of the city notorious for petty crime, the garage will boast a high-end surveillance system comprised of more than 80 cameras.
Battaggia said that Termini Station would continue to run at full capacity during the renovations, which are scheduled to proceed in phases that will limit the area under construction to two platforms at a time.
With a price tag of over 85 million euros, the gallery is slated to open in 2015 with work on the parking garage due to finish a year later.
Battaggia said that the firm contracted for the renovations, Ati Ics Ircoop, had agreed to a strict timeline with harsh penalties in case of delays.
Situated in the heart of Rome, Termini Station is the city’s primary transport hub with high-speed railway links to Naples, Milan, Turin, Venice and Bologna.
More than 500,000 commuters transit through the station every day on eight commuter lines that account for over a fifth of all commuter traffic in Italy, according to a 2012 report by environmental group Legambiente.
The first Termini Station opened in 1863 at a site on the Esquiline Hill then on the outskirts of Rome.
It was later demolished in 1937 to make way for a vastly bigger station designed by State architect Angiolo Mazzoni, exalting the stark and modern aesthetics of the Fascist regime.
Work on the station ground to a halt in 1943 as World War II engulfed the country to resume again four years later once the war had ended.
The modern-day station represents an architectural compromise between the intimidating, monumental design put forward by Mazzoni and the milder, postwar tastes of the architects who completed construction.
Termini had its last round of renovations on the eve of the Jubilee Celebrations in the year 2000, which reversed years of neglect and decay, transforming its dilapidated lower level into an underground shopping centre that continues to attract thousands of visitors every day.
In 2006 the station was dedicated to the memory of Pope John Paul II.
ANSA by Justin Smith