Austria is one of those countries where the more you do, the more you want to do; and its just simply impossible to do the country justice if you only have a week or two to spare so concentrating on certain areas seemed to make sense to me.
OBB operate the national rail service, throughout Austria; also offering many cross border trains into neighbouring countries. OBB timetables are only available in PDF format when created on their “Scotty” system; these are only for point to point trains as well. Alternatively the Scotty system can be used to plan your trip online.
There are also open access & private operators offering regional services, completely exempt from OBB, such as:
Mariazellerbahn (St Polten to Mariazell) – Note Interrail passes are valid; PDF timetables are available to download
Wachaubahn (Krems to Emmersdorf with Postbus connection to/from Melk) – Note Interrail passes are valid; PDF timetables are available to download
Pinzgauer Lokalbahn (Zell am See to Krimml with Postbus connetion to Krimml Waterfalls) – Note Interrail passes are not valid; however there is an excelled weekend ticket available for up to three people, valid for unlimited travel for the whole weekend, for just Euro19. Tickets for the connecting bus to Krimml Falls can also be purchased on board the trains. Timetables are available in PDF format.
Westbahn operate open access trains from Wien Westbahnhof to Salburg using shiny new double-deck EMUs. Timetables are available in PDF format by clicking the “Timetable Download” tab on the homepage.
Breitenauerbahn (Mixnitz Lokalbahn to St Erhard)
Breitenauerbahn is a private, freight railway, using heritage locos to run its operation and they run passenger services at certain weekends throughout the Summer months. Details of their operating days can be found on the Breitenauerbahn website.
A comprehensive list of both passenger and freight operators in Austria can be found on the helpful Railfan Europe websites’ Austria page.
Train times and Tickets
Booking train tickets both within or cross border into Austria (on OBB operated trains) can be done on the OBB Scotty website; once the origin and destination are selected the options for tickets becomes available at the next stage.
If choosing to use an Interrail pass, either for just within Austria, or to pass through Austria, all the relevant details on the passes, including the different types/lengths of validity available, can be found on the InterRail website.
For those travelling from outside Europe then the Eurail Pass is your ticket to Europe, details of which can be found on EU Rails’ website.
Finally travel in Europe can be made a lot simpler by using the very, very, helpful smartphone app courtesy of Eurail. This app is available both online and offline and is always up to date (well it has been for the countries I’ve used it in; including for any planned engineering works); for me it was an essential part of my travel in Europe. This app is linked to the Hafas system, which countries like Germany, Austria & Switzerland use for their train planning online tool. Eurail has done what the individual countries haven’t though and made it available offline.
For the Rail Enthusiast
A comprehensive list of Austria Locomotives by their respective railway system can be found on the Railfaneurope website’s Austria page. This also explains a bit the various operators of the network and how they have amalgamated over the years.
Interactive maps of the Austrian Rail System is available on the OBB Scotty Website. For those wanting a more comprehensive and detailed map/atlas one is available from Schweers & Wall; also listing the distances within.
I’d planned this trip to coincide with the planned charter that was expected to be an SBB Re6/6 from Luino to Schaffhausen, which would also have linked in nicely with the BLS Heritage Extrazug that was running Burgdorf – Brig – Burgdorf on the same day. As luck didn’t have it, for the second time Read the Rest…
Having only ventured into Ukraine for the first time two years ago, I was beginning to get the bug for the place. It’s a country which in cranking terms is about as real as it gets these days, and there’s no sign of things changing anytime soon. So, this trip was planned to take in Read the Rest…
As has been the case for the previous two years, we were both off at Christmas again this year and so made plans to head out of the UK for it. With there being a rerun, albeit with a difference, of the MAV Nostalgia Christmas Nohab outing from Kelenfold to Tapolca, we tied our plans in with Read the Rest…
This trip was an attempt to visit some parts of Switzerland that we’d only ever been to during the Winter months. Most prominently featuring the Aletsch Glacier, accessed from the gondolas that head up towards it from stations along the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn. As it was Summer we also planned to visit Rochers de Naye, Read the Rest…
As an introduction what more can I say; this was my honeymoon! During which we planned to visit Austria (Salzburg, Vienna & Graz), Slovenia (Ljubljana, Bled & Postojna) and finish up in Zagreb, Croatia; the latter being a cheaper and better place to fly home from more than anything else. Of course there would be Read the Rest…
After a very enjoyable trip to Switzerland in April we wanted to visit some other equally as scenic parts of Europe and Austria was one such place. As an add on to that I soon became aware, through my research, of an impending disaster; whereby the Mariazellerbahn would soon replace their 100 year old 1099 Read the Rest…