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. One notable difference which can often be seen in timetables is that the month of January is Jänner rather than standard German Januar.

Currency

Euro

UIC code

numeric 81; alpha A.

Timetable

Journey Planner

ÖBB 'Scotty' Journey Planner

Actual Train Times

ÖBB Train radar

Downloadable Timetable

Individual tables can be downloaded here - the route plan under Bahnnetz gives table numbers.

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 the downloadable timetable under Bahnnetz.

Engineering Information

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.

Bus Information

The ÖBB 'Scotty' Journey Planner can also be used to plan bus journeys.

Maps

Printed Maps

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

Right-hand running, but with a few exceptions. Most double track lines are signalled for reversible working. Many lines in the east of the country were left-hand running in the past, a hangover from the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Wien - Graz line was left-hand running, but after Payerbach-Reichenau - Mürzzuschlag - Bruck a d Mur was converted to right-hand running at the December 2019 timetable change, only Bruck a d Mur - Graz - Leibnitz remains and ÖBB intends to convert this 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 remain left-hand running.

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 the online timetable pages under Bahnnetz.

  • 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 GySEV trains between Sopron and Wien Hbf. GySEV also owns the line between Sopron and Györ, which is entirely in Hungary and electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz.
    • [Wien Hbf -] Ebenfurth – Sopron [-Deutschkreutz] (512)
    • GySEV also operated the line from Neusiedl am See to Fertőszentmiklós (731) until December 2020 when ÖBB took over operation of this line, which is owned by Neusiedler Seebahn GmbH (NSB). This was in exchange for GySEV becoming the sole operator on Wien - Ebenfurth - Sopron instead of sharing operation with ÖBB.
  • Steiermarkbahn (StB) (Steiermärkische Landesbahnen/Steiermarkbahn und Bus GmbH):
    • Gleisdorf – Weiz Nord (531)
    • Feldbach – Bad Gleichenberg (532) Electrified 1800 V dc. A daily service ran until 31 December 2020; for most of 2021 a weekend-only service runs.
    • Peggau-Deutschfelstritz – Übelbach (540) Electrified 15 kV 16.7 Hz
    • Unzmarkt – Tamsweg Murtalbahn (630) (760 mm gauge)
    • Mixnitz – St Erhard (760 mm gauge) Electrified 800 V dc. This line is owned by RHI Magnesita N.V., but managed by StB. Occasional special passenger trains operate.
  • 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).
  • Westbahn (Westbahn Management GmbH): 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 not shown) 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 April 2021.

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). There will be no scheduled traffic in 2020 or 2021 until further notice owing to refurbishment works.
  • Erzbergbahn (Verein Erzbergbahn): Vordernberg Markt – Erzberg (Erzberg - Eisenerz out of service since 2010 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 dc) (see route map - former maintenance railway of Internationale Rheinregulierung)
  • Rosenthaler Dampfzüge (Nostalgiebahnen in Kärnten): Weizelsdorf – Ferlach
  • Schaubergwerke Kupferplatte: Jochberg, Kitzbühel (600 mm gauge, underground mine railway)
  • Schwazer Silberbergwerk (Schwazer Silberbergwerk Besucherführung GmbH): 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: Mauterndorf – St Andrä Andlwirt (760 mm gauge)
  • Wälderbähnle (Bregenzerwaldbahn-Museumsbahn Betriebsges.m.b.H): Bezau – Schwarzenberg (760 mm gauge)
  • Ybbstalbahn 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 - Grafensulz. The line between Asparn and Grafensulz is also used by the Weinvierteldraisine - see below

Rail cycling is possible on a number of lines:

  • Mostviertler Schienenradl: Lunz am See - Klein Großau (760 mm) (relocated from Ruprechtshofen - Wieselburg an der Erlauf in 2019. Now connects with Ybbstalbahn Bergstrecke - see above)
  • Sonnenland Draisinentour: Horitschon/Neckenmarkt - Oberpullendorf
  • Weinvierteldraisine: Ernstbrunn - Grafensulz - Asparn an der Zaya. The line between Grafensulz and Asparn is also used by the Zayataler Schienentaxi - see above)

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/LRT-Systems

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 Gmunden, Graz, Linz, Innsbruck and Wien are available on the Gleisplanweb site, and most are now current to 2020 [but Gmunden is dated 2018 and Linz still 2016].

See also Austria - Tram services over obscure routes

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 planned to operate tourist services in summer 2020, but this has been delayed until 2021.

Land Tirol has agreed to invest EUR 3.4m to renovate the track and rolling stock of the Achenseebahn metre-gauge rack line from Jenbach to Achensee. A new ownership structure will also be put in place. The line had been in grave danger of closure in 2020 owing to poor track condition. However, no trains operated during 2020 and again are not running in 2021 whilst the line is being refurbished.

It was decided in February 2020 to electrify the privately operated 760 mm narrow gauge Pinzgauerbahn (Zell am See – Krimml).

A letter of intent was signed in March 2019 by the Ministry of Transport to extend the Salzburger Lokalbahn into the city centre.

Construction is under way for the Ebreichsdorf by-pass on the line between Wampersdorf and Inzersdorf Ost. Once completed in 2023 the old line will be closed. The by-pass will run for around 5km to the east of the town, starting at Wampersdorf. The existing Weigelsdorf and Ebreichsdorf stations will be closed and a new four-platform station opened at Ebreichsdorf, on the L150 road between Ebreichsdorf and Unterwaltersdorf. A video of the route is on the ÖBB Infrastruktur website here, at the foot of the page. The rest of this route (the Pottendorfer Linie) is in the course of being doubled. Once the project is complete, this line will become the main route between Wiener Neustadt and Wien for express passenger trains on the Südbahn from Graz. This will free up the existing Südbahn via Baden for local passenger trains and freight.

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.

Electrification of Klagenfurt – Weizelsdorf was agreed in early 2016 by ÖBB and Kärnten Land, although completion is planned only in 2023. The Kãrnten Land government envisages that all remaining lines in Kärnten will be electrified by 2025. The section between Weizelsdorf and Rosenbach, which was closed in December 2016, was purchased by Land Kärnten in 2020, and trains are now permitted to run through to and from ÖBB tracks at both ends. Special trains are planned to operate from July 2021, and a motor-draisine operation between Ferlach, Weizelsdorf and Feistritz im Rosental is planned for summer 2022.

In 2020 ÖBB announced plans to electrify the lines from St Pölten via Traisen to Hainfeld and Freiland. This includes reopening to passengers of the section from Schrambach to Freiland, where a new rail/bus interchange for services up the two valleys beyond Freiland to Türnitz and St Aegyd/Kernhof will be constructed.

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 32.8 km Koralmtunnel is its centrepiece and target completion date for this section is 2023. The second, north, bore was broken through on 17 June 2020, after the first, south, bore on 14 August 2018. 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. The existing Klagenfurt - Bleiburg line (Drautalbahn) is being replaced by the new line between Grafenberg and St. Michael ob Bleiburg. The section of the old line between a point to the east of Völkermarkt-Kühnsdorf and just west of St Michael ob Bleiburg closed on 6 September 2020 and was replaced by the new route.

Electrification of the Graz-Köflacher Bahn (GKB) is planned: Wettmannstätten - Wies-Eibiswald by 2025/26, to support electric services on the Koralmbahn, and by 2028 for the remainder.

In 2020 ÖBB published plans to electrify 500 route-km of lines by 2030. Those not mentioned above are:

Likely to go ahead:

  • 112 Herzogenburg - Krems a d Donau
  • 120 Pöchlarn - Scheibbs
  • 130 St Valentin - St Nikola-Struden

May go ahead:

  • 151 Neumarkt-Kalham - Braunau am Inn
  • 190 Steindorf - Braunau am Inn
  • 530 Graz Ostbf - Szentgotthárd (HU)

Less likely to go ahead:

  • 524 Wr. Neustadt - Loipersbach-Schattendorf [-Sopron (HU)]

Freight only:

  • Zeltweg - Pöls

Threatened passenger lines

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 – Ried/Innkreis – Schärding

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 late 2011 ÖBB 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). From December 2020 this line has operated with an hourly schedule all day on weekdays between 05:00 and 19:00 so may be somewhat more secure.

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 following lines closed at the end of 2020:

  • 132 Waidhofen an der Ybbs Pestalozzistraße - Gstadt (13/12/20) (a further cutback of the rump of the narrow-gauge Ybbstalbahn, now known as the Citybahn) - closure deferred by a year from December 2019. The new terminus of Pestalozzistraße is a new station about 300m beyond the existing Vogelsang station.
  • 532 Feldbach - Bad Gleichenberg (Steiermärkische Landesbahnen) (01/01/21). The line was badly damaged by a storm on 22 August 2020 but reopened fully on 9 October with the last day of normal daily service being 31 December 2020. Between 23 January and 1 November 2021 a weekend-only service continues to run.

The following lines closed at the end of 2019:

  • 133 Sarmingstein – St Nikola
  • 152 Haiding – Aschach an der Donau. The Eferding - Aschach section may be taken over by the Linzer Lokalbahn and services restarted at some point 'in the future'
  • 912 Groß Schweinbarth – Bad Pirawarth
  • 912 Obersdorf - Groß Schweinbarth - Gänserndorf

The Gänserndorf to Marchegg line was electrified in 2020. From the December 2020 timetable change, one of the two S1 services per hour from Wien Meidling to Gänserndorf has run through to Marchegg via this route, replacing the local shuttle service which was operated by a diesel railcar.

Arnoldstein to Hermagor was electrified from the December 2019 timetable. The section beyond Hermagor to Kötschach-Mauthen closed in December 2016, but was purchased by Land Kärnten in December 2018. A draisine operation runs between Kötschach-Mauthen and Rattendorf-Jenig; the line from there to Hermagor is preserved but has no traffic.

Reutte in Tirol to the German border was electrified from the December 2019 timetable, but the 2 km from the border to Pfronten-Steinach will not be completed until the end of 2021.

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 (Festritztalbahn) was temporarily cut back from the beginning of 2020 to Krottendorfer Hauptstraße (about 1km from Weiz) to allow construction of a new bypass road. In 2020, services only operated between Anger and Birkfeld. When the line is reinstated to Weiz, possibly during 2021, 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.

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