History of rail transport in Austria

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This article is part of the history of rail transport by country series
The Rakete (Rocket) of the Kaiser-Ferdinands-Nordbahn
View of the Reisszug below the Hohensalszburg Castle

The history of rail transport in Austria began with the Reisszug, a private funicular serving the Fortress of Salzburg. Built at the end of the 15th century and first documented in 1515, it is the oldest known funicular in the world, and possibly the oldest existing railway line.[1][2]


In 1837, following the construction of several horse tramways, the Nordbahn line (Vienna-Břeclav) was opened. The Imperial Royal Austrian State Railways, a company serving the Austrian part of Austria-Hungary, was created in 1884[3] and in 1923, some years after the dissolution of the empire, the national company "BBÖ" (now known as the "ÖBB") was founded.

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  • Kaiser, Wolfgang; Knipping, Andreas (2011). Österreich - die Eisenbahngeschichte: das große Album [Austria - The Railway History: The Big Album] (in German). München: GeraMond Verlag. ISBN 9783862451173. 
  • Trautsamwieser, Herbert (1998). Vom Dampfwagen zum EuroCity: 160 Jahre Eisenbahn in Österreich, 160 Jahre Menschen im Zug [From Steam Engines to EuroCity: 160 Years of Railways in Austria, 160 Years of People by Train] (in German). Krems: Malek. ISBN 3901207228. 

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