ÖBB and city council announce 2,4-billion-euro overhaul of Vienna lightrail system

OEBB ©Philipp Horak / Wien 2015

Vienna’s lightrail system, also known as the S-Bahn, will be revamped in the coming ten years. The emphasis will be on digitalisation and upgraded infrastructure, which should facilitate the use of longer trains at shorter intervals. A total of 2,4 billion euros will be made available for the project

The announcement was made earlier this week by ÖBB, the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology and the City of Vienna itself.

The backbone of the project will be the introduction of Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) and auxiliaries. It is to be installed on the section between the Viennese district of Floridsdorf in the north and the more centrally located district of Meidling, the busiest route in the whole of Austria. The aim is to run trains at a maximum interval of three minutes. The installation is scheduled for completion in 2027.

Additional tracks

The tracks beyond Meidling onwards to Mödling via the Liesing district will subsequently be increased to four. The first section Meidling and Liesing is scheduled for completion in 2032, the second section to Mödling for 2034. The work includes the construction of a new station between Meidling’s Hetzendorf neighbourhood and Liesing’s Atzgersdorf, as well as a new station in the suburban Brunn area.

The expansion project should cut travel time between between the districts to a maximum of 15 minutes. According to mayor Michael Ludwig, this fits perfectly with Vienna’s ambition to become a so-called 15-minute-city, where most district can be reached via public transport with ease. According to Ludwig, 75 percent of the people of Vienna already choose to walk, ride a bike or use public transport on a daily basis.

Finally, the line between the western districts of Hütteldorf and Penzing is to become a double track one, which should enable a suburban train every 7,5 minutes. The S80 line between Hütteldorf in the west and Aspern Nord in the east will also receive an upgrade.

An overview of the planned projects for Vienna and the wider region. Image: ÖBB

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Author: Nick Augusteijn

Chief Editor, RailTech.com

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