ÖBB: 265 million for a strong rail network in Upper Austria region

In this year, ÖBB is investing 265 million euros in railway infrastructure in the Federal State of Upper Austria. The Austrian Railways are focussing on additional capacity, fit and safe rail routes and attractive train stations for passengers. The highlights are the start of construction of the track expansions for Marchtrenk-Wels on the western route and the completion of the Linzer Stadthafen marshalling yard.

In Upper Austria (Oberösterreich), one of the nine Federal Sates or Bundesländer of Austria, ÖBB operates a route network of 878 kilometers as well as 211 train stations and stops. By investing in infrastructure to increase capacity and modernising train stations, ÖBB wants to attract more people to the train.

“Our investments in Upper Austria offer an incentive to switch to the train – especially for commuters who travel to central Upper Austria, says Andreas Matthä, CEO of ÖBB-Holding. “At the same time, we are creating further economic impulses in the number 1 industrial state.”

More tracks

Around 32 percent of all trains now run on the western route, although this only accounts for around 10 percent of the operating length of the Austrian rail network. This is why ÖBB works on the four-track expansion of the western line to increase the capacity. The expansion is being carried out in sections. On the west side of Linz Central Station, work has been in full swing since 2019. In spring 2021, the new stop for the Linz local railway in the area of ​​the new Untergaumberg stop will go into operation.

Construction work on the expansion in the Marchtrenk – Wels section will start in summer 2021. The official procedures for the Linz – Marchtrenk section are expected to be completed in 2021. At the same time, the Linz Vbf project will be submitted in 2021. West – Linz signal bridge for environmental impact assessment (EIA) at the BMK. This is the section between Linz Kleinmünchen and the east side of the Linz Central Station, the last section for a continuous four-track western route between Vienna and Linz. The EIA procedure is currently running for the Salzburg western section of the Köstendorf – Salzburg route.

On the Pyhrn route more capacity for passenger and especially for freight traffic is being created. To this end, the selective two-track expansion of the Pyhrn line is being promoted. 20 of the approximately 100-kilometer route have so far been expanded. In 2021, the planning for the environmental impact assessment for the next double-track expansion section between Hinterstoder and Pießling-Vorderstoder will be worked on.

Linz’s Stadthafen marshalling yard

The marshalling yard ‘Linz Vbf. Stadthafen’, a central cargo handling point in the industrial area of the Upper Austria capital Linz, has been extensively modernized since 2019 and will go into operation this year. The station has been electrified and this year it will be connected directly to Linz Central Station by an additional track. In the future, electrically powered freight trains coming from the west will be able to drive directly to the Stadthafen marshalling yard and save time and effort from switching from electric to diesel locomotives. This makes rail even more attractive for regional and international transport services.

The project is supported by Linz Service GmbH / Port Division. In 2021, ÖBB will also invest in the marshalling yards in Wels and Linz in order to be prepared for the freight traffic of the future and to contribute to the modal shift of goods from road to rail.

Linz’s Stadthafen marshalling yard
Linz’s Stadthafen marshalling yard plans. red: renewal of railway track, purple: new road, cyan: infiltration systems, blue: railway tracks to the Linz port and container terminal (upper left)

The rail traffic of today and tomorrow

Making the Mattigtalbahn more attractive is a multi-phase renovation project over the next few years. The construction of electronic interlockings as well as station conversions including park & ​​ride and bike & ride systems in Braunau am Inn (completed in 2020), Munderfing, Mattighofen and Mauerkirchen are planned. ÖBB has also started the planning for the electrification of the route. Construction work on the electronic signal boxes (ESTW) in Munderfing, Mattighofen and Mauerkirchen will start in 2021.

Furthermore, ÖBB is working on the legally required modernization of level crossings along the entire route. For this, discussions are held in advance with the municipalities about possible closures. There are around 50 level crossings along the entire route. A major milestone will be achieved with the electrification of the Steindorf near Straßwalchen to Friedburg section at the end of 2021. At the same time, the extension of the Mattig Valley Railway to the new Neumarkt am Wallersee traffic hub will be completed.

Leonore Gewessler, Federal Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology: “Investments in rail infrastructure are also investments in quality of life, climate protection and sustainable mobility. All Upper Austrians will benefit from this: commuters, schoolchildren, families and travelers will be able to travel in Upper Austria in an even more comfortable and environmentally friendly way in the future.”

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Author: Esther Geerts

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