Train travel in Austria is easy, as the train routes cover most of the major cities, including Graz, Linz, Vienna, and Salzburg, plus, there are several more unique tourist routes available, some using historically important steam locomotives.
The railway network is owned and operated, for the most part, the Austrian state owned ÖBB (Österreich BundesBahn).
You can choose from a variety of train connections, the most important of which are local trains, InterCity trains on routes between the major Austrian cities, and EuroCity trains, for routes between Austria and major destination within the European continent.
On the major routes within the Austrian railway network (Westbahn and Südbahn), there are trains departing on a very tight schedule, about one hour apart, so you have a variety of choice when it comes to using connections.
For the smaller Austrian cities, you can often find trains departing every few hours.
PHOTO: ÖBB’s CityShuttle train about to depart towards the city of St. Pölten.
PHOTO: Vienna is a popular connection point between major East European cities such as Bratislava, Budapest, and Prague, and Western European destinations. There are excellent connections from Vienna to Southern Germany, especially to Munich, with one of the trains traveling this route being the pictured Deutsche Bahn train, coming towards Wien Westbahnhof station.
PHOTO: A view to the fast ÖBB railjet train (departing from Linz station), which travel between the major cities in Austria.
PHOTO: You can find guidance and timetables for the trains at the stations, and the major cities, such as the pictured Linz station, have electronic displays for the time of the arrival of the train, timetables for all connections, and in many cases, a customer service desk for the ÖBB.
On the major routes within the Austrian railway network (Westbahn and Südbahn), there are trains departing on a very tight schedule, about one hour apart, so you have a variety of choice when it comes to using connections. For the smaller Austrian cities, you can often find trains departing every few hours.
The validity of the tickets depends on the length to the distance, and destinations within 100km are valid for one day, whereas destinations that are 101km or more away, are valid for three days and return tickets one month from purchase.
If you are traveling with a car in Austria, you can get your car to the trains using the Motorail trains, which travel routes Wien – Villach/Salzburg/Bischofshofen/Innsbruck/Feldkirch/Linz, and Feldkirch – Linz, as well as Graz – Villach.
If you want to use a bicycle in your destination city, 50 different train stations in Austria offer bicycle rentals from April to October. The bicycles should be returned to the same location they were rented from.
When using the trains, you should keep in mind that ÖBB offers significant discounts for, for example, families, old age pensioners, and many other groups.
To get to know more about these discounts, current ticket prices, and other questions about train travel in Austria, you can use the ÖBB information desks at the major train station, but also from the official website, located at www.oebb.at.
If your desired train travel in Austria destination does not have a connection, you can get there most likely using a bus, as the country is covered by a very extensive bus network, with about 2000 regular routes, operated primarily by either Postbus or by Bahnbus (ÖBB).
Austria is unique in that there are a lot of historical train routes for tourists, mostly using traditional, renovated steam locomotives.
These types of tourist routes for train travel in Austria include:
- Bregenzer Waldbahn: Bezau-Schwarzenberg-Bersbuch (steam locomotive, during summer weekends)
- Stubaitalbahn: Innsbruck-Fulpmes
- Strasse-und-Mittelgebirgsbahn: Innsbruck-Igls
- Achenseebahn: Jenbach-Achensee (steam locomotive, May-September)
- Zillerbahn: Jenbach-Zell a. Ziller-Mayrhofen (steam and diesel locomotives)
- Pinzgauer Lokalbahn: Zell am See-Krimml (has steam locomotive departures)
- Reisseck-Höhenbahn: Berghotel Reisseck-Reisseck (May-October)
- Taurachbahn: Mauterndorf-Mariapfarr-St.Andrä (diesel and steam locomotives, summer weekends)
- Murtalbahn: Unzmark-Murau-Tamsweg (diesel and steam locomotives)
- Museumstramway Klagenfurt/See: Lendkanal-terminus ‘Im moos’ (using horses to pull the train carriages, available weekends during July and August)
- Schafbergbahn: St. Wolfgang-Schafberg (steam and diesel locomotives, April-October)
- Attergaubahn: Vöcklamarkt-St. Georgen-Attersee
- strassenbahn Gmunden
- Traunseebahn: Gmunden-Vorchdorf
- Museumbahn St.Florian: St.Florian-Pichling (summer period: sundays and national holidays)
- Linzer Pöstling-Bergbahn
- Waldviertler Schmalspurbahn: Gmünd-Litschau/Heidenreichstein (steam locomotive, summer weekends)
- Steyrtalbahn: Steyr-Grünburg (steam locomotive, summer sundays)
- Ybbstalbahn: Waidhofen-Lunz-Ybbsitz (steam locomotive)
- Gurktalbahn: Pöckstein-Zwischenwässern (steam locomotive, summer weekends)
- Stainzer Bahn: Preding-Stainz (steam locomotive, several departures per week during the summer season)
- Feistritztalbahn: Weiz-Birkfeld (steam locomotive, during the summer season, twice departures a week)
- Die Krumpen Bahn: Ober-Grafendorf-Wiselburg (available throughout the year, but with steam locomotives only during the summer season)
- Mariazellerbahn: St Pölten-Mariazell (primarily modern trains, but also special departures using steam locomotives)
- Höllentalbahn: Payerbach-Reichenau-Hirschwang (electric, steam, and diesel locomotives)
- Schneebergbahn: Puchberg-Hochschneeberg (steam locomotive, from late April to the end of October)