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:
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.
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.
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.