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Murtalbahn railcar VT31 and steam engine U11 at Ramingstein-Thomatal station in 2005.

The Murtalbahn (literally translated, the Mur Valley Railway) is a 760 mm (2 ft 5+1516 in) narrow-gauge railway largely located in the state of Styria in Austria. The line runs along the valley of the River Mur from the market town of Unzmarkt through Murau to Tamsweg, which is just over the Styrian border in the state of Salzburg. The railway is operated by Steiermärkische Landesbahnen (a railway operator owned by the state of Styria) and, with a total length of 76.1 km (47.3 mi), it is the fourth-longest narrow-gauge railway in Austria.


The railway line between Unzmarkt and Mauterndorf was opened in October 1894.

In March 1973 the public passenger traffic was stopped on the section between Tamsweg and Mauterndorf. This section is operated today by Club 760 under the name Taurachbahn as a museum railway.

Special steam trains and amateur locomotive trips still operate over the route.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 9 July 2021, railcar VT 32 was derailed due to a fallen tree, with one carriage ending up on its side in the Mur. Seventeen people, mostly young school-age children, were injured.[1][2]


Diesel locomotive VL13 at Murau in 2006.

Five diesel-electric railcars, introduced in 1981, are used to operate a service every two hours over the line. In the summer months the STLB operates weekend steam-hauled services between Murau, where the main workshop are, and Tamsweg. Goods trains still operate on the railway, with trains hauled by diesel locomotives VL 14 and 15, built in 1966. Timber and petroleum tankers are the major goods transported.

The STLB invested in the railway, and the infrastructure is maintained to the standard of standard gauge mainline routes. There are good positions for photography by railway enthusiasts along the whole route, particularly in the valley between Madling and Tamsweg.


A museum is maintained in the locomotive shed at Frojach Katschtal station by Club 760.


Number Built Builder Wheel arrangement
Steam locomotives
Stainz 2 1892 Krauss 0-4-0T
U 11 1894 Krauss 0-6-2T
Bh1 1905 Krauss 0-6-2T
U 40 1908 Wiener Neustädter Lokomotivfabrik 0-6-2T
U 43 1913 Krauss 0-6-2T
Diesel Locomotives
VL 5 1938 Demag B
VL 6 1959 Orenstein & Koppel B
VL 7 1940 Gmeinder B
VL 12 1966 ÖMAG B-B
VL 13 1967 ÖMAG B-B
VL 16 1967 ÖMAG B-B
Diesel Railcars and Trailers
VT 31 1980 Knotz
VT 32 1981 Knotz
VT 33 1981 Knotz
VT 34 1981 Knotz
VT 35 1998 Jenbacher Werke
VS 41 1982 Knotz
VS 42 1982 Knotz
VS 43 1982 Knotz/BBC
VS 44 1982 Knotz/BBC


  1. ^ "Murtalbahn derailed in Lungau and crashed into the river – "Children have had guardian angels"". Archyde. 9 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Zugunglück in Österreich: Waggon wegen entwurzeltem Baum entgleist - 17 Verletzte" [Train accident in Austria: Wagon derailed due to uprooted tree - 17 injured]. (in German). 9 July 2021.


  • Steiermärkische Landesbahnen (Herausgeber): Das Buch der Murtalbahn. Eigenverlag, 1994, ISBN 3-901474-02-1
  • Walter Kroboth, J.O.Slezak, H.Sternhart: Schmalspurig durch Österreich. Slezak, Wien 41991, ISBN 3-85416-095-X
  • Joseph O. Slezak, Hans Sternhart: Renaissance der Schmalspurbahn in Österreich. Slezak, Wien 1986, ISBN 3-85416-097-6
  • Markus Strässle: Schmalspurbahn-Aktivitäten in Österreich. Slezak, Wien 1997, ISBN 3-85416-184-0
  • Markus Strässle: Lokalbahnen in der Steiermark. Zeunert, Gifhorn 1995, ISBN 3-924335-17-6

External links[edit]