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Austrian Federal Railways


Austrian Federal Railways

Austrian Federal Railways
Industry Transport
Predecessor Imperial Royal Austrian State Railways
Austrian Southern Railway
Founded 1923 (refounded 1947)
Headquarters Vienna, Austria
Area served
Central Europe
Key people
Christian Kern
Products Rail transport, Cargo transport, Services
Revenue 5,239 million (2013)[1]
€ 103 million (2013)[1]
€ 755 million (2013)[1]
Number of employees
39,513 (2013)
Railjet (RJ), the high-speed-train of ÖBB
Map of the Intercity-Express (ICE) network in Austria
A ÖBB EuroCity (EC) train in Bozen, South Tyrol
RegionalExpress train (REX) in Vienna
Regional train (R) in Styria
The Vienna S-Bahn is a suburban metro railway network in the Metropolitan area of Vienna
A freight train of Rail Cargo Austria
The ÖBB runs 9 classification yards in Austria
Salzburg Hauptbahnhof, a junction between local and long-distance transport routes
The current main hall of Linz Hauptbahnhof
Typical commuter rail station south of Vienna

The Austrian Federal Railways (German: Österreichische Bundesbahnen or ÖBB, formerly the Bundesbahn Österreich or BBÖ) is the national railway system of Austria, and the administrator of Liechtenstein's railways. The ÖBB group is owned entirely by the Republic of Austria and is divided into several separate businesses that manage the infrastructure and operate passenger and freight services.

The Austrian Federal Railways has had two discrete periods of existence. It was first formed in 1923, using the Bundesbahn Österreich name, as a successor to the Imperial Royal Austrian State Railways (kkStB), but was incorporated into the Deutsche Reichsbahn during the 1938-1945 Anschluss. It was reformed in 1947, using the slightly different Österreichische Bundesbahnen name, and remains in existence in this form.

Major changes currently being made to the Austrian railway network are the construction of the Wien Hauptbahnhof (Vienna main station), the Koralm Railway, the Semmering Base Tunnel and the Brenner Base Tunnel connection with Italy.


  • History 1
    • The various logos of the ÖBB over time 1.1
  • Current structure 2
  • Infrastructure 3
  • Statistics 4
  • Principal Lines 5
  • Rail links to adjacent countries 6
  • Active Rolling Stock 7
    • Electric Locomotives 7.1
    • Diesel Locomotives 7.2
    • Electrical multiple units 7.3
    • Diesel Railcars 7.4
    • Maintenance of way equipment 7.5
  • See also 8
    • Other railways in Austria 8.1
  • References 9
  • External links 10


  • 1882 – Gradual nationalisation of the railway network of the Austro-Hungarian Empire into the Imperial Royal Austrian State Railways (Kaiserlich-königliche österreichische Staatsbahnen, kkStB). By the outbreak of the first world war, the only major railway in Austria to remain in private hands was the Austrian Southern Railway (Südbahn).
  • 1918 – After the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following the first world war, the Austrian rump of kkStB remained in state control under the name Deutschösterreichische Staatsbahnen (DÖStB), which was renamed the Österreichische Staatsbahnen (ÖStB) in 1919.
  • 1923 – Foundation of the independent, commercial enterprise, the Bundesbahn Österreich (which used the abbreviation BBÖ, because ÖBB was already taken by the Swiss Oensingen-Balsthal-Bahn). This company took over the assets of the ÖStB and the Südbahn, together with other minor railways.
  • 1938 – The Anschluss of Austria into the German Empire. The BBÖ was taken over by the Deutsche Reichsbahn. During the Second World War about 41% of the Austrian railway network was destroyed.
  • 1947 – The company was reformed using the slightly different name of Österreichische Bundesbahnen and the abbreviation ÖBB (by that time the Swiss private railway used the abbreviation SP for its goods wagons in international traffic, so its abbreviation ÖBB could now be appropriated) as a state-owned company. Their infrastructure was rebuilt and electrification was accelerated.
  • 1969 – A new federal railway law was enacted. The ÖBB became a non-independent, economic entity, that was run as a branch of the government's industrial programme and remained entirely within the Federal budget.
  • 1992 – The ÖBB were broken out of the federal budget and turned into company with its own legal status (a cross between a GmbH and an AG in Austrian commercial terms). The company is 100% owned by the Republic of Austria. This change had two primary aims: 1. It had to conform to EU rules on the admission of Austria into the European Union. 2. The financial demand on the public purse was to be reduced as a result of improvements in efficiency and the pressure of competition.
  • 2004 – The ÖBB were reorganised into ÖBB Holding AG and a number of operating subsidiaries. The holding company was to oversee the operations of the companies assigned to it, coordinate a coherent strategic approach and allocate tasks for the whole enterprise.[2]
  • 1 January 2005 – The subsidiaries of ÖBB-Holding AG became autonomous and independent operationally. See below.

The Austrian rail system is largely electrified. Electrification of the system began in 1912 but did not reach an advanced state until the 1950s. The last steam locomotive in regular service on the standard gauge network was retired in 1978.

The post-war laws related to the Austrian railways were the:

  • Eisenbahngesetz (EisbG 1957),
  • Schieneninfrastrukturfinanzierungsgesetz (SCHIG 1999),
  • Eisenbahnhochleistungsstreckengesetz (HIG 1999) and
  • Bundesbahngesetz (1992).

The various logos of the ÖBB over time

Current structure

By a law of August 2009, the organisational structure dating from 2005 was further modified; the railways are under the control of ÖBB-Holding AG, a holding company wholly owned by the Austrian state, under the Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie.[3]

The holding company has (2014) a number of subsidiaries[4]

Operating subsidiary:

  • ÖBB-Personenverkehr AG (Passenger transport)
    • ÖBB-Postbus GmbH, 100% subsidiary
    • ÖBB-Produktion GmbH, 50% subsidiary
    • ÖBB-Technische Services GmbH, 49% subsidiary
    • ÖBB Rail Tours|Rail Tours Touristik GmbH, 100% subsidiary
  • Rail Cargo Austria AG (RCA) (Freight transport)
    • Rail Cargo Hungaria Zrt., 100% subsidiary
    • ÖBB-Produktion GmbH, 50% subsidiary
    • ÖBB-Technische Services GmbH, 51% subsidiary
    • Rail Cargo Logistics - Austria GmbH
  • ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG (Infrastructure planning, management, and construction)
    • ÖBB-Immobilienmanagement GmbH, 100% subsidiary
    • Mungos Sicher & Sauber GmbH, 100% subsidiary
    • Rail Equipment GmbH, 100% subsidiary

Subsidiary companies of ÖBB-Holding AG:

  • ÖBB-Shared Service Center GmbH 100% subsidiary
  • ÖBB-IKT GmbH 100% subsidiary
  • ÖBB-Werbung GmbH 100% subsidiary
  • European Contract Logistics - Austria GmbH 100% subsidiary

Subsidiary companies of ÖBB-Personenverkehr AG and Rail Cargo Austria AG are:

  • ÖBB-Produktion GmbH (provision of locomotives)
  • ÖBB-Technische Services GmbH (technical services)


The infrastructure of the state-owned Austrian network is managed by ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG, which was formed from former infrastructure-related units including Brenner Eisenbahn GmbH. It now manages 9,740 km of track, 788 signal boxes, 247 tunnels, 6,207 bridges and eight hydro-electric power (hep) stations for the 16.7 Hz electrification system, and two hep stations for 50 Hz power generation.

At the end of 2009 it employed 17,612 staff.[3]

Österreichische Bundesbahnen
Sales Infrastructure
Passenger transport Network
Freight transport Tracks
Traction Signal-/System technology
Technical services Telekom
Power plants Energy network
Facility management Planning/Engineering
Facility management


According to the Annual Report 2013, the company employs 39,513, there of 13,599 employees, 24,251 tenured employees and 1,663 apprentices. In 2013, ÖBB-Personenverkehr AG carried 469 million passengers of which 235 million were bus passengers.[5] The ÖBB has

  • 4,859 km (3,020 route miles); 72% electrified
  • 1,128 train stations
  • 1,093 locomotives.
  • 2,799 passenger vehicles
  • 26,518 freight wagons
  • 2,200 busses
  • ÖBB's bus services travel 52,500,000 km (32,621,988 mi) per year.

Principal Lines

Rail links to adjacent countries

All neighbouring railways have the same gauge.

Active Rolling Stock

Electric Locomotives

Diesel Locomotives

Electrical multiple units

Diesel Railcars

Maintenance of way equipment

See also

Other railways in Austria


  1. ^ a b c "(untitled)" (PDF). ÖBB. 
  2. ^ ÖBB-Holding AG. "Aufgaben". 
  3. ^ a b Richter, Karl Arne, ed. (2010). Europäische Bahnen '11. Hamburg: Eurailpress.  
  4. ^ "Organigramm". ÖBB. 3 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Daten & Fakten". ÖBB. 

External links

  • Austrian Federal Railways website
  • International relations UIC
  • International relations CER
  • report of audit court 2006
  • modification of railroad law 2004
  • passenger traffic tariffs of ÖBB in 2008
  • Winchester, Clarence, ed. (1936), "Austria's rail transport", Railway Wonders of the World, pp. 971–977 , illustrated account of Austrian railways in the 1930s.
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