Austria - General Information
National Railway System
National Railway Operator
Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB).
German, which differs in certain respects from the version spoken in Germany.
numeric 81; alpha A.
Individual tables can be downloaded here - the route plan under Bahnnetz gives table numbers.
ÖBB no longer publish a complete printed timetable, but do issue timetable booklets for each route (usually available only in the area in question). Table numbers can be found from the downloadable timetable under Bahnnetz.
This page provides a pictorial map for each month giving the locations and dates of engineering work on the ÖBB network.
In the summer months many sections of line can be closed, with bus replacement services operating, for several weeks: it pays to check the online journey planner carefully.
The ÖBB 'Scotty' Journey Planner can also be used to plan bus journeys.
- “Eisenbahnatlas Österreich”, the second edition of which (ISBN 3-89494-138-3) was published in 2010 by Verlag Schweers + Wall GmbH, similar to atlases from the same publisher for Germany, Italy & Slovenia, and Switzerland. A new edition is expected to be published in late 2020.
- European Railway Atlas: Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland by M.G. Ball (1993) (ISBN 0-7110-2116-3)
- European Railway Atlas by M.G. Ball (2008 onwards)
- An overall system map is provided at ÖBB Netzkarte.
- Sporenplan has a number of on-line schematic track diagrams. Click on "Sporenplannen" on the left hand side for a map showing the countries covered.
- Thorsten Büker's Map of Austria and Map of Vienna. Not updated since November 2011.
- Maps and Plans - Austria
Infrastructure is owned and managed by a public authority, ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG.
The Network Statement page gives access to the latest network statements.
ÖBB is entirely standard gauge. Various Other Railways are narrow gauge, as noted below.
15 kV 16.7 Hz. The electrification systems used by Other Railways are noted below. The following cross-border routes with Hungary are electrified at the Hungarian standard 25 kV 50 Hz:
- between Ebenfurth and Deutschkreutz via Sopron (Ebenfurth station area can be switched between the two voltages);
- between Neusiedl am See (exclusive) and Fertöszentmiklós (the electrification boundary is a few hundred metres south of Neusiedl station).
Rule of the road
Many lines are single track and most double track railways are signalled for reversible working. Most double track lines in Austria operate with right-hand running, although many lines in the east of the country once operated with left-hand running, a hangover from the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The Wien to Graz line still operates with left-hand running south of Payerbach-Reichenau. Payerbach-Reichenau - Mürzzuschlag - Bruck a d Mur successfully converted to right-hand running in December 2019. ÖBB intends to convert Bruck a d Mur - Graz by the time the Koralmbahn opens in full. The only other line with left-hand running is Wien FJB - Tulln - Absdorf-Hippersdorf, an isolated section of double track which will probably keep left-hand running.
The best source is the “Eisenbahnatlas Österreich”; see #Printed Maps.
Many of these are government (regional or local) owned, rather than owned by private companies. Table numbers in the Fahrpläne Österreich are shown in brackets and can also be found from the online timetable pages under Bahnnetz.
- Graz-Köflacher Eisenbahn: Graz Hbf – Köflach and Wies-Eibiswald (550)
- Montafonerbahn AG: Bludenz – Schruns (420). Electrified 15 kV 16.7 Hz
- NÖVOG (Niederösterreichische Verkehrsorganisationsges.m.b.H.)
- St Polten Hauptbahnhof – Mariazell Mariazellerbahn (115) (760mm gauge) Electrified at 6.6 kV 25 Hz.
- Waidhofen an der Ybbs – Gstadt bei Waidhofen Citybahn Waidhofen (132) (760mm gauge)
- Puchberg am Schneeberg – Hochschneeberg Schneebergbahn (523) (Metre gauge, rack operated) **Gmünd NÖ – Groß Gerungs Waldviertelbahn (801) (760mm gauge)
- Gmünd NÖ – Litschau and Heidenreichstein Waldviertelbahn (802) (760mm gauge)
- Krems an der Donau - Emmersdorf an der Donau Wachaubahn (811)
- Retz - Drosendorf Reblaus Express (941)
- Raab-Oedenburg-Ebenfurter Eisenbahn AG: An international railway in joint Austrian and Hungarian ownership, better-known by its Hungarian name, Györ-Sopron Ebenfurti Vasút (GySEV). Raab and Oedenburg are the German names for Györ and Sopron respectively. The line from Ebenfurth to Sopron is electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz and used by dual-frequency ÖBB trains between Sopron and Wien Südbf. GySEV also owns the line between Sopron and Györ, which is entirely in Hungary and electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz.
- Ebenfurth – Sopron (512)
- Neusiedl am See – Fertőszentmiklós (731).
- Salzburg AG:
- St Wolfgang Schafbergbahnhof – Schafbergspitze SchafbergBahn (Salzkammergutbahn GmbH) (173) (metre gauge, rack operated)
- Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (platforms 11 and 12) - Lamprechtshausen Salzburger Lokalbahn (210). Electrified 1000 V dc.
- Bürmoos – Trimmelkam – Ostermiething Salzburger Lokalbahn (210). Electrified 1000 V dc.
- Zell am See – Krimml Pinzgauerbahn (230) (760 mm gauge)
- Steiermärkische Landesbahnen (STB):
- Gleisdorf – Weiz Nord (531)
- Feldbach – Bad Gleichenberg (532) Electrified 1000 V dc
- Peggau-Deutschfelstritz – Übelbach (540) Electrified 15 kV 16.7 Hz
- Unzmarkt – Tamsweg Murtalbahn (630) (760 mm gauge) Plans to convert this line to standard gauge have been abandoned, but see "Projects under way or planned", below..
- Mixnitz – St Erhard (760 mm gauge) Electrified 800 V dc. This line is owned by Mixnitz-St.Erhard AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Veitsch-Radex GmbH, but managed by STLB. It is possible to charter passenger trains or passenger coaches on freight trains.
- Weiz – Anger - Birkfeld (760 mm gauge) line sold - see Recent Changes, below
- Stern & Hafferl Verkehrsgesellschaft m.b.H.:
- Linz Hbf – Peuerbach and Neumarkt-Kalham LILO (143) Electrified 800 V dc, operated by dual-system EMUs into Linz Hbf on 15 kV 16.7 Hz
- Lambach – Vorchdorf-Eggenberg (160)
- Vorchdorf-Eggenberg – Gmunden Bahnhof (161) (metre gauge) Electrified 800 V dc
- Vöcklamarkt – Attersee (180) (metre gauge) Electrified 800 V dc
- Vorchdorf-Eggenberg – Brauerei Eggenberg (freight only).
- Stubaitalbahn (Innsbrucker Kommunalbetriebe AG): Innsbruck – Fulpmes (320) (Metre gauge) Electrified 900 V dc. Operated by tram-style vehicles which work through on to the Innsbruck tram system at 750 V dc.
- Westbahn Management G.m.b.H: Wien Westbahnhof – Salzburg (100, 101). The first open access operator in Austria; runs an hourly semi-fast service between Wien and Salzburg.
- Wiener Lokalbahnen AG: Wien Oper – Baden Josefsplatz (515) Electrified, 800 V dc. A long-distance tramway ("inter-urban" in north American parlance), connected to the Wien tram system. Owned by Wiener Stadtwerke AG.
- Zillertalbahn (Zillertaler Verkehrsbetriebe AG): Jenbach – Mayrhofen (310) (760 mm gauge).
Listing current at December 2020 with updates where known.
Various lines listed under Other Railways, above, are wholly or largely tourist operations but are not repeated here. Some of the following lines are commercial operations but most are supported by preservation societies.
- Abenteuer Erzberg (900 mm gauge, underground mine railway) (note: can be reached by Erzbergbahn)
- Achenseebahn AG: Jenbach – Achensee Seespitz (metre gauge, rack operated). This line is potentially in danger of closure at the end of the 2019 season owing to poor track condition.
- Erzbergbahn (Verein Erzbergbahn): Vordernberg Markt – Erzberg (Erzberg - Eisenerz out of service since 2016 because of storm damage)
- Feistritztalbahn (Feistritztalbahn Betriebsges.m.b.H.) : Birkfeld – Anger – Weiz (760 mm gauge) Operated in conjunction with Club U44. See also Recent Changes, below.
- Gurkthalbahn: Treibach-Althofen – Pöckstein-Zwischenwässern (760 mm gauge)
- Höllentalbahn (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Lokalbahnen): Payerbach Lokalbahn – Hirschwang (760 mm gauge)
- Klagenfurt museum tramway (Lendcanaltramway Klagenfurt) (Nostalgiebahnen in Kärnten): (metre gauge)
- Liliput-Bahn (Liliputbahn Prater G.m.b.H.): Wien's historic 15 inch gauge line - ca. 3.9km circuit in Prater park. Also operate separate Donaupark line.
- Museumsbahn Ampflwang-Timelkam (Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Eisenbahngeschichte (ÖGEG)): Ampflwang – Timelkam
- Museums-Lokalbahnverein Zwettl: Zwettl – Schwarzenau
- Museumstramway Mariazell-Erlaufsee: Mariazell – Erlaufsee
- Pferde-Eisenbahn (Pferdeeisenbahn Museum & Gaststätte, Rainbach i.M.): (1106mm gauge; short horse-drawn tramway)
- Regiobahn: [Wien Praterstern - ] Korneuburg – Ernstbrunn
- Rheinbähnle (Rhein-Schauen Museum und Rheinbähnle): Rheinmündung - Lustenau - Steinbruch (750mm gauge, 750V d/c) (see route map - former maintenance railway of Internationale Rheinregulierung)
- Rosenthaler Dampfzüge (Nostalgiebahnen in Kärnten): Weizelsdorf – Ferlach
- Schaubergwerke Kupferplatte: Jochberg, Kitzbühl (600 mm gauge, underground mine railway)
- Schwazer Silberbergwerk (Schwazer Silberbergwerk Besucherführung G.m.b.H.): Schwaz/Tirol (narrow gauge, underground mine railway - Die Grubenbahn)
- Stainzer Flascherlzug: Stainz – Preding-Wieselsdorf (760 mm gauge)
- Steyrtalbahn (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Eisenbahngeschichte (ÖGEG)): Grünburg – Steyr Lokalbf (760 mm gauge)
- Taurachbahn (Club 760): Mauterndorf – St Andrä Andlwirt (760 mm gauge)
- Wälderbähnle (Bregenzerwaldbahn-Museumsbahn Betriebsges.m.b.H): Bezau – Bersbuch (760 mm gauge)
- Ybbsthalbahn Bergstrecke (Niederösterreichische Lokalbahnen Betriebsges.m.b.H. (NÖLB)): Kienberg-Gaming – Lunz am See - Göstling an der Ybbs (760 mm gauge)
- Zayataler Schienentaxi (Verein Neue Landesbahn): Mistelbach Interspar - Asparn an der Zaya (connects with Weinvierteldraisine - see below)
Rail cycling is possible on a number of lines:
- Mostviertler Schienenradl: Ruprechtshofen - Wieselburg an der Erlauf (760 mm) Operations ended in Autumn 2018 as they plan to relocate to Lunz am See on the Ybbsthalbahn Bergstrecke and run to Stiegengraben, probably commencing in 2020.
- Sonnenland Draisinentour: Horitschon/Neckenmarkt - Oberpullendorf
- Weinvierteldraisine: Ernstbrunn - Asparn an der Zaya - Grafensulz (connects with Zayataler Schienentaxi - see above)
Wien has a third rail U-Bahn (much of which is above ground) and several sections of overhead-electrified U-Bahn tramway with metro characteristics. A track plan is available on the Gleisplanweb site.
Gmunden, Graz, Innsbruck, Linz, Wien (which extends via the Wiener Lokalbahnen into Baden). The Wien system was the largest European network outside Russia; however, since the closure of Route 67 to Oberlaa in September 2017, the Berlin system is larger.
Track plans for the systems of Graz, Linz, Innsbruck and Wien are available on the Gleisplanweb site, and most were current at 2018 [Linz 2016].
Recent and future changes
Projects under way or planned
The Verein Neue Landesbahn has taken over the disused Hohenau - Mistelbach line (Zayatalbahn) from ÖBB and plans to operate tourist services in summer 2020.
A letter of intent was signed in March 2019 by the Ministry of Transport to extend the Salzburger Lokalbahn into the city centre.
Preliminary work has started on rerouting Wien U-Bahn Line U2 and transferring part to a new line U5 - see plan here - with target date for implementation of 2023.
Regiobahn have aspirations to restore regular all-year service to the Korneuburg – Ernstbrunn branch.
Electrification of Klagenfurt – Weizelsdorf was agreed in early 2016 by ÖBB and Kärnten Land, although it is not known when this is to be completed. Weizelsdorf – Rosenbach closed to passengers in December 2016. The Kãrnten Land government envisages that all remaining lines in Kärnten will be electrified by 2025.
Electrification of Gänserndorf - Marchegg is part of an upgrade of the Wien - Bernhardstal - [Breclav] line to be completed by 2026.
The plan to convert part of the Murtalbahn (Unzmarkt - Tamsweg) to standard gauge and electrify it has been abandoned. However the line will be reconstructed, with four realignments. Unzmarkt - Murau will be done in 2019 - 2022 and Murau - Tamsweg in 2022 - 2026.
Information (in German) about ÖBB's major infrastructure projects an be found at their website. The major project to improve service between Wien, Graz, Klagenfurt, Villach and Tarvisio [IT], the Südstrecke project, is due for completion in 2026. As part of this project, work continues on the Koralmbahn element, to link Klagenfurt and Graz: the 32 km Koralmtunnel is its centrepiece and target completion date for this section is 2023. The first section between Werndorf and Wettmannstätten (table 550) opened on 12 December 2010.
ÖBB plans to electrify and resignal the section of the Lavanttalbahn (KBS620) from the future junction with the Koralmbahn just north of St Paul as far as Wolfsberg. This will allow fast services to run between Klagenfurt and Wolfsberg via the Koralmbahn.
It is reportedly planned to double sections of the Steirische Ostbahn (Graz – Gleisdorf – Szentgotthárd [HU]), but information on this is sparse: Wikipedia's Steirische_Ostbahn entry indicates a south to east Graz avoiding line (otherwise any trains between the Koralmbahn and Szentgottard would have to run round in Graz) but states that the start of the project has been delayed due to its relatively low priority in the general transport plan. The project does not appear in OeBB Infra's list of projects.
Threatened passenger lines
The following lines are planned to close at the end of 2020:
- 132 Waidhofen an der Ybbs Vogelsang - Gstadt (a further cutback of the rump of the narrow-gauge Ybbstalbahn) - closure deferred by a year from Dec. 2019
- 532 Feldbach - Bad Gleichenberg (Steiermärkische Landesbahnen). A tourist operation on a limited number of days may continue
The following lines closed at the end of 2019:
- 133 Sarmingstein – St Nikola
- 152 Haiding – Aschach an der Donau. The Linzer Lokalbahn ("LiLo") may take over the Eferding - Aschach section 'in the future'. This would presumably mean an improved service over this part of the line.
- 912 Groß Schweinbarth – Bad Pirawarth
- 912 Obersdorf - Groß Schweinbarth - Gänserndorf
The following lines were threatened with closure but will continue until at least 2029:
- 142 Linz Urfahr - Rottenegg – Aigen–Schlägl. The section between Linz Urfahr and Rohrbach was planned for conversion into tram-train operation, but these plans have been discarded. Current thinking is that a heavy-rail S-Bahn line may be built to connect Linz Hbf with Linz Urfahr. If this goes ahead, completion is not expected until at least 2025.
- 153 Wels - Grünau im Almtal
- 171 Attnang-Puchheim – Reid/Innkreis – Schärding
The Achenseebahn metre-gauge rack line from Jenbach to Achensee was potentially in danger of closure at the end of the 2019 tourist season owing to poor track condition. As it is a tourist line, the Tirol region does not wish to subsidise it. It is however planned to operate a limited service from April to October 2020 with only three train pairs. This may cease at any time if any problems arise.
The cross-border line from Bleiburg to Holmec and Prevalje in Slovenia has been threatened with closure in the past, but was due to gain an improved service in December 2019. This did not happen, but the existing sparse service is still running in 2020.
In late 2011 OeBB presented their plans for the period to 2025, which included a wish to give up some 700 km of branch lines - either by handing to regional authorities or complete closure. Based on failing to reach a minimum threshold of 2000 passengers per day, the passenger lines identified (other than those already listed above or already closed) are listed below.
- 502 Spielfeld-Strass – Bad Radkersburg
- 521 Pernitz-Muggendorf – Gutenstein
- 522 Bad Fischau – Puchberg
- 820 Hadersdorf – Sigmundsherberg
While not in the above official listing, the following routes have appeared on various closure "threat lists" over the years and may be considered at some risk:
- 170 Bad Aussee – Stainach-Irdning
- 172 Vöcklabruck – Kammer-Schörfling
- 720 [Wien Hbf -] Kledering - Sollenau (Mondays to Fridays only, with very poor loadings)
Innsbrucker Mittelgebirgsbahn, the light rail line to Igls operated as route 6 of the Innsbruck tram system, has in the past been threatened with closure but will now be operated as a Museum Tramway.
Operations on the Carnuntum-Draisine, on part of the former line from Bruck an der Leitha West to Petronell-Carnuntum, ceased after 27 September 2018 and the track, now owned by Lower Austrian transport association NÖVOG, has been lifted. 2.6 km of the line remains in ÖBB ownership at the Bruck an der Leitha end to serve a private siding.
The Innere Aspangbahn has been realigned for a distance of around 1km between Laxenburg-Biedermannsdorf and Maria Lanzendorf where it crosses the Pottendorfer Linie (Inzersdorf - Ebenfurth) on a new bridge, 200m north of the previous one.
A further extension of the S31 (Gleisdorf - Weiz) from Weiz Zentrum to Weiz Nord was opened to passengers on 10 September 2018. The section from Weiz Bahnhof to Weiz Zentrum opened on 4 June 2016 when the line to the original terminus at Weiz (formerly Weiz Stadt) was closed.
The Weiz - Oberfeistritz tourist line has been temporarily cut back to Krottendorfer Hauptstraße (about 1km from Weiz) until the end of 2020, to allow construction of a new bypass road. When the line is reinstated to Weiz, the Feistritztalbahn station will be on the east side of Weiz Bahnhof, rather than in the forecourt on the west side, as previously.
The residual passenger service, mainly for school traffic, between Wolfsberg and Bad St. Leonhard (KBS620) was definitively withdrawn on 10 December 2017. It had been operated by replacement bus since 5 March 2017. The line remains in use for freight.
The 24.7km St Pölten avoiding line opened on 10 December 2017. Although primarily for freight, it is used occasionally by relief passenger trains; see AT20/25
The 4.6km southern extension of Wien U-Bahn line U1 from Reumannplatz to Oberlaa opened on 2 September 2017; from the same date, tram 67 ceased to run south of Reumannplatz.
The Reißeckbahn, which consisted of a three-section funicular (Reißeck-Standseilbahn) from Kolbnitz, on the Villach to Schwarzach-St Veit line, to Schoberboden, and a narrow-gauge line (Reißeck-Höhenbahn) from Schoberboden to Reißeck-Hotel, closed in two stages. The narrow-gauge line suffered severe flood damage on 1 August 2014 and was definitively closed with effect from 7 September 2014. The track was lifted in 2017. The funicular closed in 2016, initially because of construction work at Schoberboden, but the closure was made permanent in February 2017. The Kreuzeckbahn, a funicular on the other side of the valley at Kolbnitz, continues to operate.
Because of storm damage, the Erzbergbahn has operated only between Vordernberg Markt and Erzberg (thence to Eisenerz out of service) since 2016.
For details of older changes dating back to the year 2005 see Austria - Older General Information.
Explanations in English of Austrian (and German) railway signalling can be found here.
Tourist railways up mountains are often of limited capacity, but subject to high demand, particularly at holiday periods and during the winter sports season. In such cases it may be necessary to wait some time before being able to board a train, so it is best to arrive at the railway as early in the day as possible. When booking a trip it is often necessary to reserve a seat on a specific train down the mountain. Once the railway’s capacity to bring people back down the mountain is fully booked, no more can ascend, unless they are staying at a summit hotel.