Train packed with 400 works of art launched on Paris commuter network

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SNCF's 'Arts and Civilisations' train. Credit: SNCF.
SNCF's 'Arts and Civilisations' train. Credit: SNCF.

A new SNCF train promises to take passengers on a cultural trip to the far corners of the globe as they travel on the Paris commuter network.

The ‘Arts and Civilisations’ train was launched on the capital city’s RER E metro line in June and features international works of art, photographs, paintings and historical objects from the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.

More than 400 exhibits from Africa, Asia, Oceania, North and South America – with each coach dedicated to a different continent – are displayed on a wall covering that stretches across the travelling museum’s interior from floor to ceiling.

More than 600sq ft of vinyl film was used to cover the five coaches, a job that required a high degree of precision from SNCF workers at its Saint-Pierre-des-Corps rolling stock centre.

SNCF said that the combination of art, cultural tourism and French heritage has been very popular with its passengers, describing it as ‘a perfect pairing of pleasure and practicality.’

Since 2012, passengers in the Paris region have experienced four different decorated trains: the Versailles trains on Line C, the Impressionist/Musée d’Orsay trains on Line J, the 120 Years of Cinema trains on Line D and the Nature and Culture trains on Line N.

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