Rail transport in Austria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Suedbahnhof from arsenal tower vienna.jpg
View of Wien Südbahnhof, the site of the
new station Wien Hauptbahnhof
National railway Österreichische Bundesbahnen
System length
Total 6,123 kilometres (3,805 mi)
Electrified 3,523 kilometres (2,189 mi)
Freight only ?
High-speed 93 km
Track gauge
Main 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
15 kV 16,7 Hz Main network
Some tramways in Gmunden
The Hartkaiserbahn funicular near Ellmau

Rail transport in Austria is mainly owned by the national rail company ÖBB. The railway network consists of 6,123 km, its gauge is 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge and 3,523 km are electrified.

Austria is a member of the International Union of Railways (UIC). The UIC Country Code for Austria is 81.


The history of Austrian rail transport starts 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.[2][3]

In the 19th century, after a building of several horse tramways, it opened in 1837 the Nordbahn line Vienna-Břeclav. The Imperial Royal Austrian State Railways, a company serving Austrian side of Austria-Hungary, was created in 1884[4] and in 1923, some years after the dissolution of the empire, it was founded the national company "ÖBB".


Austrian network, out of the principal rail system, also counts some funiculars, rack railways and lot of heritage railways mainly derived from part of disused lines. Some secondary lines have a narrow gauge.

Urban railways[edit]

Narrow gauge railways[edit]

In Austria, many narrow gauge railways were constructed due to the difficult mountainous terrain. Many survive as a common carrier or a heritage railway.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ A village part of Strengen
  2. ^ The "Reisszug" on Funimag
  3. ^ The "Reisszug" on Funiculars.net
  4. ^ History of Austrian Railway until 1918 (on the ÖBB website)
  5. ^ Not to be confused with the historic and private Reisszug
  6. ^ an underground air cushion funicular
  7. ^ Article on Funimag

External links[edit]