Discover the Gallery
With an area covering 2.320 square metres over three floors, 2,540 metres of track and space for over 4,000 exhibits from the Baumgartner collection and numerous other private collections: there is really something here for everybody!
Be immersed in the wonderful world of Swiss and International railway history, admiring models of trains that were the toys of a bygone age. You will discover unique examples, and appreciate the manual precision work, faithful to the original in its entirety.
Value Cards and Stamps
On show are parts of the collections of value cards, shares, and bonds of railway and oil company societies from times gone by. These provide a graphic and interesting insight into an economic reality of ages past. Themed stamps and illustrated postcards show the visitor the diversity of the railway world.
Sailing Boats and Ships
As well as trains, ships, from the first ever galleys to sailing boats, steamers and work boats also recount the history of trade, of merchant transport and of men.
Vintage trains – STS - Special Train Salon
During the 1940s a group of railway enthusiasts transformed an old carriage named “Sputnik” and a shunter locomotive into a nostalgic train, fitting it with Belle Époque furnishings.
This unique convoy was used on the Oensingen-Balsthal route in Canton Solothurn and could be hired out for vintage-themed journeys during the years 1948-1995. In 1999 it was bought by Bruno Baumgartner and exhibited in the Baumgartner Gallery. Its reproduction in scale 1 (1:32) is on show in the Gallery.
The Mendrisio Tramway
A historical memory of the tramway affectionately known as the “Dolce Verde” by locals, which connected the communities between Chiasso and Riva San Vitale from 1910 to 1950.
The inauguration of the tramway route Chiasso-Balerna-Coldrerio-Mendrisio-Capolago-Riva San Vitale took place on 9th May 1910.
Today the nostalgic collective memory of that old tram with its wooden benches and pea-green colour (thus called “Dolce Verde”), and its slow clanking remains a point of reference in the hearts of those who still remember it.
After extensive professional restauration, it is now on show for all to admire, protected under a shelter on the forecourt of Hotel Coronado in Mendrisio (www.hotelcoronado.ch)