Main > Reference > Austria

   Train Recognition Guide
   Super High Speed Main

   European Countries
   > Austria
   >  Gallery

    United Kingdom

    North America





ÖBB Railjet headed by class 1116 number 245 stops in Innsbruck, Austria

Westbahn KISS EMU in Salzburg, Austria

Taurus in Bregen

Taurus lead Railjet

Railjet driving trailer

Railways in Austria
The railways in Austria have had to tackle with large mountains much like in its neighbor Switzerland. Railroad building started early on and significant upgrades have been made with determination to meet today's demands on capacity and ever higher speeds. Since the opening of the borders of the ex. Soviet satellite countries around Austria the country has seen a significant although gradual internationalization of the traffic.

An important feature is also the Brenner pass linking North-South the railroad traffic through Austrian rails. For the moment this route is receiving a major upgrade with base tunnel envisioned to be finished by 2026, when the steadily traffic will demand this expansion.

Always intereresting feature of Austria is also the working relation of the state railways ÖBB and rolling stock builder Siemens AG across the border in Munich, Germany. Most newest high tech (and often high speed) rolling stock for ÖBB comes from this builder. Among the latest offerings are Taurus ES64U4 and ES64U2 locomotives, Viaggio classic coaches and Desiro ML multiple units.

Austrian Pages
    Railroad Galleries of Austria... 
    Electric Multiple Unit Gallery of Austria... 
    Electric Locomotive Gallery of Austria... 

Austria has a distinctively many "Taurus" ES64U2 and ES64U4 electric locomotives of Siemens in use. Built nearby in Munich, Germany these locomotives became in 1990s the core of the unified locomotive fleet, capable of handling any train from high speed Railjet services to freights. Because of the distinctive sound when starting these locomotives are also dubbed quite fittingly as "Mozarts".

    "Taurus" ES64U/U2/U4 Locomotives Page... 

Railjet of ÖBB
To employ many of its Taurus locomotives for high speed running ÖBB set up Railjet, now a popular service for long distance travels.

    More on Railjet...    
    High Speed Railjet Page...

   - - - Discuss Page at - - -

Created for by John McKey. Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo, Peider SwissTrip, Tracks@3rdhand and Siemens.

Other interesting subjects
ÖBB Railjet headed by class 1116 number 245 stops in Innsbruck, Austria
Austrian RR Gallery
has hundreds of pictures of railway vehicles, both latest and truly old, normal rail, narrow gauge and rack railways!

ÖBB class 1144 number 063, Austria
For the size of the country Austria has / has had surprisingly many electric locomotive types.

ÖBB class 4024 number 015 in Bishofshofen, AustriaAll the common Austrian EMU types: Electric Multiple Unit Gallery



To the top of the page

  Railjet Service of ÖBB

Railjet driving trailer

Taurus lead Railjet
Taurus lead Railjet

The Railjet service and its units are the pride of ÖBB, the Austrian state railways.

Railjet driving trailer is seen on the left at Innotrans 2008 trade fair, when the concept of these virtual EMUs was officially unveiled. Semipermanently coupled coahes + Taurus locomotive allow for high speed operations both ways. This means that a certain amount of easy flexibility of formation is retained, should the need for changes arise later. Yet, this is only a virtual electric multiple unit, emaning that it carries a lot of extra weight along it. This weight causes additional wear and also uses extra energy in acceleration decelaration typical to rail vehicles.

Typical Railjet Configuration
- Locomotive of ÖBB class 1116 or 1216, most painted to Railjet colors. These are actually modified so that the locomotive ends are different and intention is to use it so that it fits best tot the coaches behind aor ahead of it.
- Bmpz - 2nd class end coach
- Bmpz - 2nd class coach
- Bmpz - 2nd class coach
- Bmpz - 2nd class coach
- ARbmpz - Restaurant with 1st class and info point
- Ampz - 1st class coach
- Afmpz - 1st and Business class driving trailer

On thew picture lower left a Railjet unit is seen on the beautiful Austrian mountain landscape. Each Railjet unit is formed of a Taurus locomotive and an EMU looking coach rake for passengers with driving trailer at both ends (in the picture there are 2 coaches, 2 driving trailers and 2 locomotive; enough hose power for any mountain slope. Both the Tauruses and passenger unit are manufactured by Siemens AG in Germany. According to the year 2005 order there are 67 Railjet units with one Taurus locomotive and one coach section. Siemens has managed to offer the ÖBB a very cost effective and reliable solution for the budget ÖBB has been able to gather (Austria is one of the smaller railway nations just like Finland, Denmark or the Baltic countries). The technology is well proven and the maximum speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) well suited for effective journeys inside the hilly Austria and its eastern and southern neighbors (no super high speed lines available for immediate near future).


The initial Railjet international operations started in early 2009 connecting Budapest in Hungary with Wien Austria and Munich in Germany. The southern direction to Italy soon followed. Interesting is that the Railjet name expresses what the (super) high speed railroads have been doing in the recent years: replacing the airline connections of max 1000 km with a more convenient and greener rail transportation!

  - - - Discuss Page at - - -
Click any picture to see a larger version of it!

To the top of the page




 MAV (Hungarian Railways) Trains in Austria  
///Austrians have regular connections abroad by several companies like Deutsche Bahn, who use their ICE2 high speed trains to link Wien Austria and Munich Germany. This is a major competitor to the Railjet family of trains. While the railjet is capable of 230 km/h (143 mph) the ICE2 can run up to 280 km/h (174 mph). However, the 280 km/h can be run only on the high speed track, and it takes time for acceleration and deceleration, so the real differences in travel times are not that big and can easily be compensated for many passengers with higher service level (that is friendlier service personnel, punctuality, more comfortable and roomier cars, food services, mobile phone and internet connections, etc.) .

Here seen is a MAV Hungarian railways Taurus class 1047 number 005 in Linz. Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo.   

To the top of the page

Main > Reference > Austria
© Railroad Reference 2004 - 2016   -   Created 3.5.2009, Refurbished 15.1.2012, Updated 25.1.2016 John McKey