Austria - General Information

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Country Name

Austria (Österreich)

National Railway System

National Railway Operator

Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB).

Language

German, which differs in certain respects from the version spoken in Germany.

Currency

Euro

UIC code

numeric 81; alpha A.

Timetable

Journey Planner

ÖBB 'Scotty' Journey Planner

Downloadable Timetable

Individual tables can be downloaded here (table numbers can be found from this route plan). An offline journey planner can also be downloaded here.

Printed Timetable

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 this route plan.

Engineering Information

This page provides a pictorial map giving the location and type of engineering work and other incidents for ÖBB, and also significant events on neighbouring railway administrations.

A map of the network showing the locations and dates of engineering works in 2016, by quarter, is present here.

A map of the network showing the locations and dates of engineering works in 2017, by quarter, is present here.

The summer provides opportunity for engineering work which can result in sections of line being closed, with and buses substituted, for many weeks: it pays to check carefully.

Bus Information

The ÖBB 'Scotty' Journey Planner can be used to plan bus journeys. ÖBB Postbus timetables can be downloaded from the Postbus website.

Maps

Printed Maps

  • 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.
  • 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)

Web-based Maps

Infrastructure

Infrastructure Authority

Infrastructure is owned and managed by a public authority, ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG.

Network Statement

The Network Statement page gives access to the latest network statements.

Gauge

ÖBB is entirely standard gauge. Various Other Railways are narrow gauge, as noted below.

Electrification

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.

ÖBB intends to convert most of the remaining lines, although conversion of Mürzzuschlag - Bruck a d Mur - Graz (where major investment would be required) is likely to be related to the Südstrecke project. The only other line with left-hand running is Wien FJB - Tulln - Absdorf-Hippersdorf, which is an isolated section of double track.

Distances

The best source is the “Eisenbahnatlas Österreich”; see #Printed Maps.

Other Railways

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 this plan.

  • 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 – Fertószentmiklós (731).
  • Steiermärkische Landesbahnen (STLB):
    • Gleisdorf – Weiz Stadt (531) Electrified 1000 V dc
    • Feldbach – Bad Gleichenberg (532) Electrified 1000 V dc
    • Peggau-Deutschfelstritz – Ubelbach (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 Seebf (161) (metre gauge) Electrified 800 V dc
    • Vöcklamarkt Lokalbahn – Attersee (180) (metre gauge) Electrified 800 V dc
    • Vorchdorf-Eggenberg – Brauerei Eggenberg (freight only).
  • 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

Tourist Lines

Listing current at September 2016

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 Achenseebf – Achensee Schiffstation (metre gauge, rack operated)
  • 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.
  • Club Florianerbahn: St.Florian – Pichling See (900 mm gauge) (at September 2016 had been out of service for several years but still aspire to reopen the line)
  • Gurkthalbahn: Treibach-Althofen – Pöckstein-Zwischenwässern (760 mm gauge)
  • Höllentalbahn (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Lokalbahnen): Payerbach Ort – 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
  • Reißeckbahn: Schoberboden – Reißeck (600mm gauge in conjunction with funicular) (formerly operated by Verbund AG - service suspended from 2016 - see Recent changes)
  • 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 Bsucherführung G.m.b.H.): Schwaz/Tirol (narrow gauge, underground mine railway - Die Grubenbahn)
  • Stainzer Flascherlzug: Stainz – Preding-Wieselsdorf (760 mm gauge)
  • Steyrtalbahn (Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Eisenbahngeschichte (ÖGEG)): Grünburg – Steyr Lokalbf (760 mm gauge)
  • Taurachbahn (Club 760): Mautendorf – St Andrä (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:

Metro

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.

Trams

Gmunden, Graz, Innsbruck, Linz, Wien (which extends via the Wiener Lokalbahnen into Baden). The Wien system is the largest European network outside Russia.

Track plans for the systems of Graz, Innsbruck and Wien are available on the Gleisplanweb site, and were current at summer 2016. A track plan for Linz is available on the Doprava site, although (as at October 2016) it had not been revised since 2011.

See also Austria - Tram services over obscure routes

Recent and future changes

Projects under way or planned

Electrification of the Gailtalbahn (Arnoldstein - Hermagor) commenced in July 2018 with a planned completion for December 2019; Hermagor – Kötschach-Mauthen closed to passengers in December 2016. Of note are two lengthy closures with bus substitution; between 9 July and 11 November 2018, and from 9 July to 14 December 2019. The Kärnten Land government envisages that all remaining lines in Kärnten will be electrified by 2025.

Wien U-Bahn Line U4 is to be closed between Längenfeldgasse and Karlsplatz in July and August 2019 for modernisation. Preliminary work has started on rerouting 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.

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, Klagenfurth, 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 – Szentgottard [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) and a possible completion in 2020. However, the project does not appear in OeBB Infra's list of projects.

Threatened passenger lines (position at September 2016 with updates)

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 were as listed below. Entries are preceded by their table number, and a note is given of any overt action towards closure that has been reported subsequently.

  • 133 Sarmingstein – St Nikola (service very limited)
  • 142 Rottenegg – Aigen–Schlägl (see comment below)
  • 153 Wels – Grünau *
  • 171 Attnang-Puchheim – Reid/Innkreis – Schärding *
  • 502 Spielfeld-Strass – Bad Radkersburg
  • 521 Pernitz-Muggendorf – Gutenstein
  • 522 Bad Fischau – Puchberg
  • 524 Deutschkreutz – Neckenmarkt-Horitschon (service since withdrawn)
  • (620) Bleiburg – Holmec (Slovenia) - Prevalje (operated by SŽ diesel railcars. Formerly Mondays to Fridays only, this line gained two train pairs on summer Saturdays in 2018. Local press reports say that there will be 11 additional daily cross-border train pairs from December 2019, so the future of this line now appears secure)
  • 660 Klagenfurt Süd – Rosenbach (electrification of section Klagenfurt - Weizelsdorf subsequently announced and section thence to Rosenbach closed in December 2016 - see above)
  • 670 Hermagor – Kötschach-Mauthen (closed in December 2016 - see above)
  • 820 Hadersdorf – Sigmundsherberg
  • 912 Gross Schweinbarth – Bad Pirawarth (reduced to Mondays to Fridays only)
  • 912 Obersdorf - Gross Schweinbarth - Gänserndorf

There was speculation that the lines marked * would be privatized as part of an agreement with the regional government of Oberösterreich, along with Haiding to Aschach an der Donau (table 152), but (at December 2017) this had not come to pass.

Although the line from Rottenegg to Aigen-Schlägl (table 142), part of the branch from Linz Urfahr, is on the list, this was primarily due to the section between Linz Urfahr and Rohrbach being planned for conversion into tram-train operation, with the rest of the line being shut. If train-tram went ahead, at Rohrbach a new line, 2.8 km long, will be built towards the town centre, and at Linz a new line will be built from Urfahr to Hauptbahnhof but the Oberösterreich Land Parliament wishes to keep the existing railway and reconnect it with the main rail network.

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:

  • 152 Haiding – Aschach an der Donau (one very early round trip on schooldays only, plus one summer weekend round trip). The Linzer Lokalbahn ("LiLo") has stated that it wishes to take over the Eferding - Aschach line, which would presumably mean an improved service over this part of the line but possibly lead to closure of the Haiding - Eferding section.
  • 170 Bad Aussee – Stainach-Irdning
  • 172 Vöcklabruck – Kammer-Schörfling
  • 410 [Garmisch-Partenkirchen -] Ehrwald Zugspitzbahn – Schönbichl [- Pfronten-Steinach] Electrification of Reutte in Tirol - Pfronten-Steinach [- Kempten] agreed, to be completed by 2020, so it would appear that this line is now secure)
  • 651 Villach – Feldkirchen – St Veit an der Glan
  • 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.

Recent changes

The extension from Weiz Bahnhof to Weiz Nord was opened to passengers on 10 September 2018.

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 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.

Reißeckbahn, a funicular and narrow gauge railway from Kolbnitz, was initially to be closed for summer 2016 season to enable engineering work on local hydro power plant, but it now seems possible the line will not reopen. The nearby Kreuzeckbahn may be under some threat, too. See 2015 press report and later 2016 press report (both in German)

Because of storm damage, the Erzbergbahn operated only between Vordernberg Markt and Erzberg (thence to Eisenerz out of service) during 2016.

The Weiz - Oberfeistritz (Steiermärkische Landesbahnen) line was temporarily closed following the last train on 24 December 2014 owing to the poor condition of the Bachl viaduct and the Hardt-Puch tunnel. The Oberfeistritz - Birkfeld section was leased to Club U44, which moved all its rolling stock to the then cut off Birkfeld. However patronage fell considerably in 2015 so the Steiermark Region sold the entire line to the Feistritztalbahn Betriebsges.m.b.H. in February 2016 for a nominal €1 and contributed €235,000 for repairs. The line reopened for seasonal passenger service throughout between Birkfeld and Weiz in April 2016 (see Tourist Lines).

Operation by Lavamünder Bahn- und Betriebs GesmbH (LBB) on the closed line between St.Paul and Lavamünd ceased in 2015 - see press report (in German).

A 2.8 km extension of the Salzburger Lokalbahn (SLB) from Trimmelkam to Ostermeithing was inaugurated on 12 December 2014.

Wien Hauptbahnhof was officially opened on 10 October 2014 (although work continued until opening of all facilities - with through services, use of newly built flyovers at the west end and diveunders at the east end - could take place). All long-distance trains from the Westbahn - which formerly used Wien Westbahnhof - now use the Lainzer tunnel and Hauptbahnhof - the replacement for Südbahnhof. The new station had been partially opened on 9 December 2012, in connection with which two U Bahn stations were renamed; Wien Südbahnhof became Quartier Belvedere, and Südtirolerplatz became Wien Hauptbahnhof. At the same time the metro station Südtirolerplatz became Südtirolerplatz-Hauptbahnhof. A new motive power and carriage depot has been built on what has been freight yard and sidings at Matzleinsdorfer Platz between Wien Süd and Meidling.

In December 2014 a flyover was opened across Kledering Yard (Wien Zvbf) to connect the Wien – Hegyeshalom line with Kaiserebersdorf. This provides a direct route between the new Hauptbahnhof and Flughafen Wien (VIE) (the airport), used twice hourly by railjet and Intercity services, as an alternative to the City Airport Train and S7 route to Wien Mitte.

The Wien Hadersdorf - Meidling – Wien Hütteldorf section of the Neue Westbahn opened to freight in late 2012 and to passenger services to Wien Hauptbahnhof in December 2014.

In early 2014 the metre gauge branch from Vorchdorf-Eggenberg was slightly shortened when its terminal station, Gmunden Seebahnhof, was relocated inland to a new site between Gmunden Traundorf and the old Seebahnhof. Construction started in March 2014 of a new connecting line from this new station to Rathausplatz. The initial section from Seebahnhof to Klosterplatz opened on 14 December 2014. The closed section of the Gmunden town tram line from Rathausplatz to Franz Josef Platz was rebuilt, providing a through route between Gmunden Bahnhof and Vorchdorf-Eggenberg, and opened on 1 September 2018. A sketch map is available.

The seasonal service on the Korneuburg – Ernstbrunn branch ceased in 2014 but had resumed by 2016 with a changed operator Regiobahn. Regiobahn have aspirations to restore regular all-year service to the line.

The Kammer-Schoerfling branch was cut back by around 500m in June 2014, thus eliminating 2 level crossings. A new terminal station was opened on the west side of the current line at a slightly lower level, involving around 200m of new alignment.

The Wien Liesing – Waldmühle branch, which had no booked traffic other than excursions operated by Verein Pro Kaltenleutgebnerbahn, was legally closed in January 2014 but the preservation organisation have resumed services, including some through trips to and from central Wien, since 3 September 2017.

The Deutschkreutz to Oberloisdorf line, which had a limited passenger service as far as Neckenmarkt-Horitschon, was expected to close in December 2012. In the event the passenger service was briefly reprieved and final trains ran on 28 June 2013.

Club Florianerbahn's operation between St. Florian and Pichling See (900 mm gauge, formerly part of Linz tram system) ceased (believed 2012) because of track condition but the club still aspire to reopen the line.

The Wörgl – Baumkirchen tunnel line opened in December 2012, although signalling issues meant that, initially, it was only used by Railjet services. See Lines_with_Obscure_or_Sparse_passenger_services: Wörgl Kundl - Volders-Baumkirchen.

In September 2012 a 4km section of new alignment opened between Lambach and Breitenschützing as part of line improvements on the Wels – Salzburg route.

For more information and links on projects, see (in German) OeBB Infra's list of projects.

The Schneebergbahn, ÖBB's mountain rack railway (transferred in 1997 to a company in which ÖBB and the local Province had equal shareholdings) from 1 January 2012 became wholly owned by the province; it is now run by their operating company, NÖVOG. Regular services have been extended to the Hotel platforms at the Summit.

ÖBB has withdrawn freight services from many branch or secondary lines, and all their former narrow gauge lines have been either closed or transferred to other operators.

Older Changes

For details of older changes dating back to the year 2005 see Austria - Older General Information.

Special notes

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.

See also