Information published on 20 November 2012 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 320.

Austria: the new high-performance route Vienna Meidling – St. Pölten

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This month the story is given by ÖBB on
The new high-performance route Vienna Meidling – St. Pölten in service from December 2012

On 9 December 2012, ÖBB-Infrastruk¬tur AG extends its network by 100 km and lays down a new milestone in the 175 years of railway history in Aus¬tria. Four centennial projects will go into operation; the Lainzer Tunnel, the new line between Vienna and St. Pölten, the new Lower Inn Valley Railway and the partial commissioning of the new Vienna Main Station.

The Lainzer Tunnel and the new line together form 60 km of efficient, modern railway infrastructure. The high-performance route stretches from Vienna Meidling to St. Pölten. More than half of the route runs through a total of eight tunnels.

Together this expansion brings a whole range of benefits for travellers, the regions and for railway operation, including:

  • Shorter travel times between the cities of Vienna and St. Pölten and between Lower Austria and Vienna.
  • Faster and safer trains due to the new railway infrastructure being equipped with ETCS safety systems.
  • The expansion of local public transport services thanks to the development of the new Tullnerfeld regional station.

Lainzer Tunnel

The Lainzer Tunnel starts at Vienna Meidling station and acts as a key link for the Western, Southern and Donaulände railways. The tunnel will allow both goods and passengers to get to inner city freight terminal or station destina¬tions more quickly.

New line Vienna – St. Pölten

Partially financed by EU funds, the new line completes the expansion of the western route between Vienna and St. Pölten to four-track op¬eration. With track speeds of up to 250 km/h, the new route will enable passengers to reach their destinations faster.

Project background

The contract for the development of the new line Vienna – St. Pölten was issued by the Ministry of Transport in 1990. The first ten years were shaped by a whole series of discussions, with information events, negotiations and administrative proceedings finally leading to a successful conclusion and the start of construction. Public participation played a key part in the planning process with representatives of the municipalities, local action groups and political parties all putting forward suggestions and influencing the process through regular working parties. The result was a jointly drafted and optimised project.

Changes in rail operations

The new timetable from 2012/213 will thus include new features on the western route:

  • Faster intercity travel: the journey between Vienna and St. Pölten will be shortened to about 25 minutes. The result is a time saving of around 15 minutes each way, which in the future will allow commuters between Vienna and St. Pölten to save 30 minutes a day.
  • The journey time from Vienna - St. Pölten - Melk - Ybbs can be shortened by up to 19 minu¬tes. This is made possible by the use of trains with speeds of 200 km/h for commuter traffic going from Lower Austria to Vienna in the morning and in the opposite direction in the afternoon.
  • Additional trains will run on the existing route and some of the freight traffic will be shifted to the new high-performance route, which will lead to a gradual reduction of night-time freight traffic on the existing route.

Many thanks to ÖBB for the information provided.

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