Austria - General Information

1,743 bytes removed, 6 February
Recent changes: Tullnerfeld avoiding curve withdrawal added
===Web-based Maps===
*An overall system map dated 20152018/16 19 is provided at [http OEBB INFRA Map].
*[ 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|Maps and Plans - Austria]]
*[ Abenteuer Erzberg] (900 mm gauge, underground mine railway) (note: can be reached by Erzbergbahn)
*[ Achenseebahn AG]: Jenbach Achenseebf – Achensee Schiffstation (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) <i>Operated in conjunction with [ Club U44]</i>. See also Recent Changes, below.
[ 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, Linz, Innsbruck and Wien are available on the [ Gleisplanweb site], and most were current at summer 2018 [Linz 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|Austria - Tram services over obscure routes]]
===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 A lengthy closures closure with bus substitution; between 9 July and 11 November 2018, and will take place from 9 July to 14 December 2019, further to a closure in late 2018. 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.
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 [http bahnstrecken website]. The major project to improve service between Wien, Graz, Klagenfurth, Villach and Tarvisio [IT], the [ <i>Südstrecke</i> project], is due for completion in 2026. As part of this project, work continues on the <i>Koralmbahn</i> 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 <i>Steirische Ostbahn</i> (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 but states that the start of the project has been delayed due to its relatively low priority in 2020the general transport plan. However, the The project does not appear in [http bahnstrecken OeBB Infra's list of projects].
====Threatened passenger lines====The following lines are planned to close at the end of 2019:*133 Sarmingstein – St Nikola (service very limited)*152 Haiding – Aschach an der Donau (service very limited). The ''Linzer Lokalbahn ("LiLo")'' '''should''' be taking over the Eferding - Aschach section 'in the future'. This would presumably mean an improved service over this part of the line.*311 Jenbach - Achensee. The 'Threatened passenger lines'Achenseebahn'' (position is potentially in danger of closure at September 2016 with updates)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. However, if it had a daily passenger service, the region would be required by law to do so. The closure threat is no doubt the first stage in an attempt to gain funding for renovation.
The following lines will continue until 2029:*142 Linz Urfahr - Rottenegg – Aigen–Schlägl. The section between Linz Urfahr and Rohrbach was 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, would be built towards the town centre, and at Linz a new line from Urfahr to Hauptbahnhof but the Oberösterreich Land Parliament wishes to keep the existing railway and reconnect it with the main rail network. Current plans suggest that a heavy-rail S-Bahn line may be built to connect Linz Hbf with Linz Urfahr, but completion is not expected until at least 2025.*153 Wels - Grünau im Almtal*171 Attnang-Puchheim – Reid/Innkreis – Schärding *(620) Bleiburg – Holmec (Slovenia) - Prevalje has been threatened with closure in the past, but will gain a two-hourly service on Mondays to Saturdays in December 2019 under the designation ''S11''. 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 (other than those already listed above or already closed) are listed below. Entries are preceded by their table number, and a 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)
===Recent changes===
The A further extension of the ''S31'' (Gleisdorf - Weiz) from Weiz Bahnhof 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 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 [https://www.Austria_-_Lines_with_Obscure_or_Sparse_passenger_services AT19/23]
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 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.
The limited passenger services to/from Vienna Westbahnhof to Tulln and beyond via the Tullnerfeld avoiding curve off the High Speed Line were rerouted to/from Tulln to terminate at Tullnerfeld station at the December 2014 Timetable change.
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 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 [[Austria_-_Lines_with_Obscure_or_Sparse_passenger_services#WORGBAUM|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===

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