Swiss Railways train in Zurich Station
Below is a detailed map of the railways of Austria. You can zoom in by using the +/- buttons or by using the wheel on your mouse whilst hovering over the map.
The map has been extracted from the Railway Map of Europe with kind permission of the publishers.
You can purchase copies of the full map, as well as rail timetables, from The European Railway Timetable website
The longest rail journey within Austria is from Vienna in the east to Feldkirch in the west, a distance of just over 620kms yet it takes little more than six hours using the RailJet service to cover this mainly twisty, hilly terrain. The first standard gauge railway across the Alps was built at the Semmering Pass (see link below) on the line between Vienna and Graz: it opened in 1854, is now a UNESCO World Heritage site but is being undercut by a new 27 km long base tunnel due to open in 2024. There are several narrow gauge lines of which the two most popular are the Zillertalbahn at Jenbach (see link below) and the Mariazellerbahn at St Poelten (see link below) .
Train services are mainly operated by Österreichische Bundesbahnen (Austrian Federal Railways), whose website is below . The three main categories are Railjet, Cityjet and Nightjet corresponding to high-speed, Inter City and overnight trains which are now being extended considerably throughout Europe. Local services are branded as Regional Express or Regional.
RESERVATIONS and TICKET PURCHASES can be made through the ÖBB website or by using their app. They are also available at all station ticket offices. E-tickets can also be purchased on line. Austria consists of 9 federal states (including the capital, Vienna), which have their own multimodal regional passes in addition to the national pass. The Einfach Raus ticket is for a group of 2 – 5 passengers travelling together and covers all Austria, with a few exceptions. Prices start at €35 and a bicycle can be added for €9. See link below for further information. The new KlimaTicket Ö is valid for 12 months on all public transport in the country: the standard cost is €1025 with discounts for youths, seniors and families.
CYCLES can be taken with you on most local and long-distance trains. In Austria you need a special cycle ticket for the price of 10% of the ÖBB full price of the 2nd class for the journey. You can also buy weekly or monthly tickets for your cycle. For international routes ÖBB offer you the Biking International Ticket at a price of €12
INTERRAIL passes are accepted by ÖBB, plus the private train companies ROeEE / GYSEV, Westbahn and RegioJet. Passes can be bought in the UK from the Interrail website www.interrail.eu . You can buy passes and make reservations on-line and passes can also be purchased through travel agencies, (see https://www.aera.co.uk) although a fee may be payable.
USEFUL WEBSITES: See the introduction and the paragraph above
OPEN ACCESS operator WestBahn (see link below) runs double-decker intercity trains between Vienna (Westbahnhof) and Salzburg in competition with ÖBB and offers joint ticketting with Bavarian regional railways (BRB) to many centres in southern Germany including Munich; in April 2022 WestBahn commenced their own direct services from Vienna and Salzburg to Munich and in December to Innsbruck. Westbahn tickets are not interchangeable with ÖBB and v.v.
ONWARD TRAVEL: The main station in Vienna is the superb Hauptbahnhof and is connected to an excellent tram and underground system available on 24, 48, 72 hours passes from €8. The two main Vienna stations (Westbahnhof and Hauptbahnhof) are directly connected by tram number 18. The four other main cities of Linz, Graz and Innsbruck also have trams whereas Salzburg uses trolleybuses. The Postbus gives good connections from stations to off-rail towns and villages.
DISABLED ASSISTANCE can be obtained from the OEBB website (see below)
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL. Austria is well served by international trains to/from all the surrounding countries, including Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Germany and the Czech Republic. ÖBB also operates NIGHTJET services between Vienna (also Innsbruck and Graz) into Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Hungary and Romania (see below ) .
DS January 2023