High-speed rail in Austria

The West railway between the capital Vienna and Salzburg is being upgraded. Most new sections have a continuous maximum design speed of 250 km/h.[1] German and Austrian ICE trains operate at a maximum speed of 230 km/h, as do Austrian locomotive-hauled trains (called railjet) which were launched in 2008.

The 56 km (35 mi) Brenner Base Tunnel under construction will allow speeds of up to 250 km/h.[2][3] The first part of the New Lower Inn Valley Railway was opened in December 2012 as part of an upgrade of the line connecting the future Brenner Base Tunnel and southern Germany, which is being upgraded from two tracks to four and to a maximum design speed of 250 km/h. The section is also part of the Berlin-Palermo railway axis.

The Koralmbahn, the first entirely new railway line in the Second Austrian Republic has been under construction since 2006. It includes a new 33 km tunnel (the Koralmtunnel) connecting the cities of Klagenfurt and Graz. Primarily built for intermodal freight transport, it will also be used by passenger trains travelling at up to 250 km/h. The time taken to travel from Klagenfurt to Graz will be reduced from three hours to one hour. The Koralmbahn is expected to be operational by 2026.

LineSpeedLengthConstruction beganExpected start of revenue services
Austrian Western Railway250 km/h312.2 kmUnknown9 December 2012 (Vienna–St. Pölten)
Brenner Base Tunnel250 km/h56 kmSummer 200621 December 2025
New Lower Inn Valley railway250 km/h40.236 kmUnknown9 December 2012
Koralm Railway250 km/h125 km20012023
Semmering Base Tunnel250 km/h27.3 km2012December 2024

See also


  1. "ÖBB dementieren Meldungen über Verschiebung des Westbahn-Ausbaues". Austria Presse Agentur. Retrieved 2015-03-28.
  2. "Durchbruch am Brenner". Sueddeutsche Zeitung (in German). 2007-07-12. Archived from the original on 2008-05-23.
  3. Müller-Meiningen, Julius (2008-04-30). "Monumentales Superloch". Sueddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Archived from the original on 2008-05-23.

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