Austria announced plans for a significant step towards sustainability with its bold rail network expansion plan set for completion by 2040. The initiative aims to enhance the appeal of train travel across the nation.
The introduction of the ‘Klimaticket,’ a comprehensive public transport ticket, marks a milestone in making green travel more accessible. Following this, Austria introduced a new generation of night trains to Germany and launched unique campaigns to attract younger demographics.
Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler unveiled the plan, emphasizing its role in creating a modern, climate-neutral rail system. “The target network 2040,” she said, “is a testament to our commitment to sustainable mobility.”
One of the plan’s highlights is the introduction of a double-track line between Upper Austria and Bavaria. This key project is expected to significantly reduce travel times between Vienna and Munich.
By the project’s completion, passenger trains will cover 255 million kilometers annually. This figure represents a substantial increase from current travel distances, underlining the plan’s ambitious scope.
The expansion focuses on improving international links and regional transport. It represents a €26 billion investment into Austria’s future, promising new jobs and better connectivity.
Among the upgrades, the New Innkreisbahn (NIB) route stands out. It could halve the journey time from Vienna to Munich, enhancing access to further destinations like Paris.
Vienna’s local transport will also see improvements. Upgrades between Vienna Heiligenstadt and Vienna Praterkai are in the pipeline.
Additionally, the expansion in the Bregenz area aims to drastically improve local transport in the Rhine Valley.
The draft of the 2040 network plan, a collaboration between the government and ÖBB, is under public review. It proposes 67 projects aimed at enhancing both national and international rail connections. This comprehensive upgrade is set to redefine mobility in Austria.