"We are proceeding with the rehabilitation of the old Monte train station, an emblematic building in the parish that appeals to the memory of the only train that Madeira had", declared the mayor, who visited the works in progress.
This intervention by the municipality of Funchal represents an investment that amounts to €400,000.
Miguel Silva Gouveia, who chairs the Funchal Chamber, governed by the coalition Confiança (PS, BE, PDR and Nós, Cidadãos!), highlighted the importance of the station “in the history of Funchal and the region”, which led the municipality to “ to present new solutions so that the space is not forgotten in time, transforming the existing property into a historical and cultural nucleus. ”
Thus, the Interpretative Center of Comboio do Monte will be equipped with a museum space, complete with films, photographs, images, artefacts and various contents alluding to the old steam train, such as tickets, a typewriter and an old desk.
The project also includes an auditorium, which can be used by schools, associations and local institutions, and a tourist information office.
“We believe that this work will significantly boost the heart of the parish of Monte, clearly benefiting the local population and all those who seek to learn about our history and our identity, becoming an important point of attraction for when we have the desired tourist and economic recovery,” said the official in the main municipality of Madeira.
Miguel Silva Gouveia said that “the project is being carried out with the important co-financing of Turismo de Portugal and that the completion of the work is scheduled for the end of May, and that the opening of the nucleus to the public should take place in the month of June”.
For the mayor, the "intervention will have very important impacts on the revitalisation of the parish of Monte, an area that is already well known for its strong tourist nature and which now gains a new historical reference".
According to historical data, the Monte railway consisted of a track that ran for about four kilometres, connecting Pombal (center of Funchal) and Terreiro da Luta, making a stop in the parish of Monte.
The first section was inaugurated on July 16, 1893, having been extended to Terreiro da Luta in 1912 and made its last trip in April 1943, with the Pombal and Monte stations as a record of its existence.
The process of rehabilitation of the Monte train station started in 2016, with the acquisition of the building.
The mayor had warned that the lead of the Municipal Budget for 2020, by the PSD and the CDS-PP, put “the project again at risk”.
However, the executive decided to proceed with the work and the deadline for completing the work is being met.