Our history

Explore the history of SNCF—from the legendary Orient Express to our historic archives to La Cité du Train, Europe’s biggest railway museum.

Living legacy

SNCF Group celebrated its 80th birthday in 2018, but the story of French rail goes back to 1827. Our legacy—tangible and intangible—spans nearly two centuries of French history.

Stations. Engineering works. Rolling stock. Depots and workshops. Archives filled with documents, images, audio and film. Together, they paint a vivid picture of the incredible number of innovations that have revolutionized mobility through the decades.

To learn more, visit Europe’s finest collection of rolling stock—La Cité du Train in Mulhouse, in Eastern France. Surrender to the magic of the Orient Express in a single click. Explore thousands of historical documents with our Open Archives programme, or relive the adventure of rail through Two Centuries of History, the video timeline we’ve created in partnership with the French National Audio-Visual Institute (INA).