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Austria - General Information

846 bytes added, 30 July
→‎Threatened passenger lines: 132 Waidhofen/Ybbs to Gstadt added
===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 The Wien to convert most Graz line still operates with left-hand running south of the remaining linesPayerbach-Reichenau, although conversion of but Payerbach-Reichenau - Mürzzuschlag - Bruck a d Mur will convert to right-hand running in December 2019. ÖBB intends to convert Bruck a d Mur - Graz (where major investment would be required) is likely to be related to by the time the <i>SüdstreckeKoralmbahn</i> projectopens in full. The only other line with left-hand running is Wien FJB - Tulln - Absdorf-Hippersdorf, which is an isolated section of double trackwhich will probably be left.
===Distances===
*[http://www.stlb.at Steiermärkische Landesbahnen (STLB)]:
**Gleisdorf – Weiz Stadt Nord (531) Electrified 1000 V dc
**Feldbach – Bad Gleichenberg (532) Electrified 1000 V dc
**Peggau-Deutschfelstritz – Ubelbach (540) Electrified 15 kV 16.7 Hz
Rail cycling is possible on a number of lines:
*[http://www.carnuntumdraisine.at Carnuntum-Draisine]: Bruck an der Leitha Ost - Petronell-Carnuntum. Operations ceased in early 2019.
*[http://www.mostviertler-schienenradl.at 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 [http://www.club760.at/html/fahrplanE.htm Ybbsthalbahn Bergstrecke] and run to Stiegengraben, probably commencing in 2020.
*[http://www.draisinentour.at Sonnenland Draisinentour]: Horitschon/Neckenmarkt - Oberpullendorf
===Projects under way or planned===
A letter of intent was signed in March 2019 by the Ministry of Transport to extend the Salzburger Lokalbahn into the city centre. ÖBB-Infrastruktur will electrify the last remaining section of unelectrified track in Tirol by the end of 2019 at 15 kV 16·7 Hz. This is the 14·4 km of line between Reutte and Schönbichl at the German border. This will include two blockades of the route; from 16 March to 26 April 2019 and from 14 September to 9 November 2019.
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. A lengthy closure with bus substitution 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.
====Threatened passenger lines====
The following lines are planned to close at the end of 2019:
*132 Waidhofen an der Ybbs Vogelsang - Gstadt (a further cutback of the rump of the narrow-gauge ''Ybbstalbahn'')
*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.
*912 Groß Schweinbarth – Bad Pirawarth (runs Mondays to Fridays only)
*912 Obersdorf - Groß Schweinbarth - Gänserndorf
 
*311 Jenbach - Achensee. The ''Achenseebahn'' is 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. 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.
*522 Bad Fischau – Puchberg
*820 Hadersdorf – Sigmundsherberg
*912 Gross Schweinbarth – Bad Pirawarth (reduced to Mondays to Fridays only)
*912 Obersdorf - Gross Schweinbarth - Gänserndorf
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:
===Recent changes===
 
The ''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 (Steiermärkische Landesbahnen) 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.
 
Prior to this, the 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).
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_[Austria -_Lines_with_Obscure_or_Sparse_passenger_services Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services#WAG_ROR|AT19/2321]]
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.
Because of storm damage, the Erzbergbahn has operated only between Vordernberg Markt and Erzberg (thence to Eisenerz out of service) since 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 [http://www.kleinezeitung.at/kaernten/lavanttal/peak_lavanttal/4940909/Bahnstrecke_Das-Ende-der-Lavamunder-Bahn press report] (in German).
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 Wien Westbahnhof to Tulln and beyond via the Tullnerfeld avoiding curve off the High Speed Line ''Neue Westbahn'' were rerouted to/from Tulln to terminate at Tullnerfeld station at the December 2014 Timetable 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 [http://tinyurl.com/ppcoq39 sketch map] is available.

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