Since 1903, the Italian volunteer organization UNITALSI has been sending trains to the French pilgrimage city of Lourdes. Every year, hundreds of trains depart from all over Italy toward Lourdes. The journey takes 3-4 days roundtrip. While in Lourdes, the patients (the sick and elderly) stay at one of the hospitals in the city. The journey to Lourdes takes 2 days from southern Italy. The trains are old, with no aircondition. The two sick cars accommodate the patients needing the most care. Despite the age of the train cars, it runs at a maximum allowed speed of 160km/hour.

Many of the sick pilgrims stay at the UNITALSI hospital while in Lourdes. The hospital can accommodate up to 300 patients and their families. The train runs at 160km/hour with only a few stops on the way to Lourdes. One can barely stand up without running the risk of tumbling over because of the commotion.

The chapel on the train is home to mass several times a day, during the 4 day round trip from Benevento to Lourdes. It's hot, and there is no aircondition. The windows have to remain open at all times, and the noise from the tracks is unbearable.