Built in the '30s, the so-called "Bunker of Rome Termini" is a jewel of industrial archeology located ten meters deep.

Inside it, 730 levers were available to the stationmaster and his employees to prepare the tracks on the surface and outline the route of the trains that were to arrive at or depart from Termini station.

The counters are the exact copy of those in operation 30 meters higher, in the old cabin disused in 1999, replicated to ensure that if the station had been under the bombardments, the circulation would not have been interrupted.

 

Inside the bunker, which can be reached by means of a series of steps, there are not only levers, but also a cell in which, during fascism, those who wanted to sabotage its functioning could be locked up. But not just them.

According to some sources, working on the levers between the '30s and' 60s meant to repeat for hours and without stopping a mechanical, alienating movement. If someone went crazy, he was forced into isolation, left in the cell for hours, even if it is not known if this function was ever actually used.

In another room, there is also a sophisticated ventilation system that was used to clean the air in case of chemical attacks. Inside there are ovens to burn the lime and a series of cylinders one after the other.

 

On the front wall the synoptic panel reproduces the routes with all the lines relating to the Capital. Once the tracks had been set up, the levers would no longer be raised until the train arrived at the station.

The adjoining rooms contain the cabinets for the relays while returning to the main hall; the attention is placed on the central table from which it was probably controlled.
On this table there are some instruments that at the time were absolutely avant-garde, like a metal container with a clock and a plate where a sheet was inserted, a kind of black box, used to record the movements of trains.

 

Normally the bunker is not accessible, even if something is being done. The hope is that one day it will be possible to visit both this and the old cabin at the top of it, memories of a period of our railway that belongs inexorably to history.

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