Rosario Central railway station
The station viewed from the east, 2007.
|Location||Av. Wheelwright and Corrientes, Rosario,
|Owned by||Municipality of Rosario
|Operated by||Central Argentine Railway (1868−1948)
Ferrocarriles Argentinos (1948−1977)
Rosario Central is a former railway station in Rosario, Argentina. It is located at the junction of Corrientes St. and Wheelwright Avenue, in the city center, not far from the coast of the Paraná River.
The station was part of the Mitre Railway network until 1977 when it fell into disuse. After being restored by the Municipality of Rosario, in 2005 the building was re-opened as the seat of the Center Municipal District, named "Antonio Berni".
The station served as a terminus of the Central Argentine Railway company. Its construction was started in 1868 and finished in 1870. At the time it was among the most important stations in the country due to its size, the funds invested in it, and the amount of traffic. It was built by British capital following the neo-gothic Italian style en vogue at the time, with a characteristic clock tower.
The railway starting at the station joined Rosario to the city of Córdoba, 396 km to the west. It was the first of the eight lines that eventually worked in Rosario, the country's longest at the time, and the first line that joined two Argentine provinces.
In 1908, after the merging of the Central Argentine and the Buenos Aires and Rosario Railway companies, the station was set aside to handle the short- and mid-distance passenger services, while Rosario Norte was destined to long-distance and express services. Rosario Central managed seventy daily train services between 1935 and 1940, with an annual average of 438,000 passengers.
Most local and mid-distance train services were cancelled in 1977, and Rosario Central Station was shut down and left abandoned. Starting in 1987, the rails joining the station with the port were removed to leave room for the construction of the Avenida Ribereña Central (Central Riverside Avenue).
An experimental passenger service that departed from the station was briefly set up in November 1989, but abandoned one month later. Additional facilities of Rosario Central, north of the station proper (workshops, stores, etc.) were demolished in 1993 as the avenue's construction progressed, and in 1997 the rails that led to the station were removed, thus making it practically impossible for it to be used again as a railway terminus.
In 1999 ENABieF, the state organization that managed the former assets of railway companies, gave over control of Rosario Central Station to the Municipality of Rosario. The municipal administration decided to restore the building, preserving most of its outer appearance, and employing it as the seat of the Center Municipal District, as part of its decentralization programme. The District Center, named Antonio Berni (honouring the local eponymous painter), serves an area of 20.37 km² with a population of 261,047. Colombian architect Laureano Forero Ochoa was involved in restoration work along with local architect Luis Grossman.
Another part of the former station, separated from the rest by a short bridge over a road tunnel, was turned into an educational/entertainment center for children called La Isla de los Inventos ("Invention Island").
The station is on the list of works and sites of patrimonial value of the municipality of Rosario, as item 010180000.
- "Historia Ferroviaria de Rosario", Asociación Rosarina Amigos del Riel, 13 Apr 2009 (Archive)
- "Hoy se inaugura el CMD Centro", Municipality of Rosario, 16 Sep 2005
- Rosario Central station. Works and sites of patrimonial value, Municipality of Rosario.
- "Rieles que corren sobre la memoria y el porvenir", La Capital, 10 Apr 2005
- "Centro Municipal de Distrito 'Centro' Antonio Berni", Municipality of Rosario, 12 Ene 2008
- "Laureano Forero, un paisa que convirtió la excelencia en arquitectura", El Tiempo, 29 Jun 2007
- Luis Grossman - Curriculum Vitae on Buenos Aires Government website
- "La Isla de los Inventos", Ente de Turismo Rosario
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