Austrian Federal Railways

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Austrian Federal Railways Holding Aktiengesellschaft

legal form Corporation
founding July 19, 1923 (as Austrian Federal Railways )
March 31, 2004 (in today's legal form)
Seat AustriaAustria Vienna , Austria
management Andreas Matthä ( Chief Executive Officer )
Arnold Schiefer (Chief Financial Officer)
Number of employees 41,641 (2018)
sales 5.64 billion euros (2018)
Branch Railway company

The headquarters of ÖBB Holding AG - Am Hauptbahnhof 2, 1100 Vienna

The Austrian Federal Railways (short ÖBB or ÖBB Group ; before 1938 abbreviated BBÖ ) are the largest state railway company in Austria .


Restored narrow-gauge electric locomotive 1099.06 of the Mariazellerbahn with historical vane wheel of the ÖBB (2018)
ÖBB Logo Pflatsch neu.svg
The Pflatsch - the ÖBB logo from 1974 to 2004
Sticker 150 J Eisenbahn Oesterreich.jpg
Logo "150 years of railways in Austria", 1987
OeBB Logo 1998.svg
Logo of the ÖBB from 1998 to 2004, a combination of Pflatsch and word mark (mostly used for printed matter)
Logo ÖBB.svg
ÖBB word mark, since 2004.

The railway at the time of the Danube Monarchy

The gradual nationalization of the rail network of the Austrian half of Austria-Hungary began in 1882, with the creation of the kk Austrian State Railways (kkStB). From 1896 to 1918 they were under the Imperial and Royal Ministry of Railways .

Disintegration of Austria-Hungary (1918)

With the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy at the beginning of November 1918, the Imperial and Royal Austrian State Railways ceased to exist. The respective parts of the rail network and the vehicles fell to the new states of Czechoslovakia , German Austria , the state of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and Poland as well as to Italy , Trieste , Isonzo Valley , Istria , South Tyrol and Romania , which annexed the Bukovina .

Establishment of the state railway (1919–1923)

The Austrian State Railways now operated as the German-Austrian State Railways (DÖStB), and from November 21, 1919 as the Austrian State Railways (ÖStB). After the new Federal Constitution came into force , they were renamed Austrian Federal Railways on April 1, 1921 . For the time being, however, they remained under state administration as part of the State Office for Transport, from November 10, 1920 under the Federal Ministry of Transport.

On July 19, 1923, on the proposal of the Seipel  II federal government , the National Council passed the Federal Railways Act, with which the Austrian Federal Railways was formed as a separate economic entity. It was a legal entity under public law, not a stock corporation or a GmbH . On the same day, the federal government issued the statute for the Austrian Federal Railways by ordinance and repealed the organizational statute issued in 1896 for the state railway administration .

The Federal Railways could not use the abbreviation ÖBB in the interwar period, as it was already occupied by the Swiss Oensingen-Balsthal Railway . The abbreviation BBÖ was therefore used; The company's name as Bundesbahnen Österreich was painted on the rolling stock .

In the few years between the strong inflation after the First World War and the global economic crisis , the federal railways contributed to the success of Austrian tourism . As before the First World War, tourist destinations with rail connections had clear competitive advantages. The Federal Railways therefore also took part in Austrian tourism advertising abroad and also adjusted timetables according to tourist demand.

Railway strike, way into the corporate state (1933)

On March 4, 1933, the BBÖ triggered Austria's path to dictatorship. The dispute that arose in the National Council about how to react to a railroad strike led to a crisis of rules of procedure, which Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss used to speak of the " parliamentary elimination " and to prevent the National Council from meeting again. This could only be activated again in 1945.

Second World War, affiliation with the Deutsche Reichsbahn (1938–1945)

After the " Anschluss " of Austria to the German Reich, the BBÖ was taken over by the Deutsche Reichsbahn on March 18, 1938 . During the Second World War (1939–1945) , the Austrian railways were used in the regime's policy of aggression as well as for its terrorism against Jews and other minorities. As part of the Reichsbahn, they were “one of the most important pillars of the National Socialist state”, as stated in 2012. The war logistics of the German Wehrmacht and the mass transports to the extermination camps would not have been feasible without rail as a means of transport. Hundreds of thousands of Austrians, including the entire Jewish population, were forced to leave their homeland or were deported to concentration and extermination camps. The transports were made by rail.

In the struggle of the Allies to liberate Austria, around 41 percent of the Austrian rail network had been destroyed by April 1945. Reconstruction began immediately after the end of the war. On July 20, 1945, the General Directorate of the Austrian State Railways started operations.

Occupation (until 1955), Declaration on the Economic Body (1969)

In the summer of 1947, the ÖBB (the Swiss private railways used the common abbreviation SP for their freight wagons in international traffic from 1950) were re-established as a state-administered company. The infrastructure was rebuilt and electrification advanced. The railway, with its many employees, like its higher-ranking Ministry of Transport, was part of the sphere of influence of the Social Democrats , who until 1966 ruled in a coalition led by the Conservatives .

With the new Federal Railways Act presented by the conservative "sole government" Klaus in 1969 , the ÖBB was declared a dependent economic body, which was run as a branch of the federal administration, but remained entirely within the federal budget.

Mass motorization

From the 1960s on, the federal railways had to accept a considerable loss of importance. The car sat down with increasing prosperity of the Austrian population in private life increasingly as transportation no. 1 by. Thanks to their ÖAMTC and ARBÖ interest groups, the wishes of motorists were also very loudly brought to politicians when necessary; the interest in contemporary, dense public transport, which had no adequate representation of interests, decreased significantly. The need for subsidies of the railway was often criticized as an "unnecessary deficit" by citizens who did not use the railway.

The ÖBB logo, the so-called Pflatsch , emerged from a competition held in 1971 , which was used from 1974 and replaced the BBÖ impeller that had existed up to that point . The Pflatsch lasted more than 30 years until it was replaced by the ÖBB word mark .

New Austrotakt (1991)

In 1991 the Austrian Federal Railways introduced a nationwide interval timetable for the first time with the New Austrotakt , or NAT'91 for short . At that time, hourly high-speed connections were introduced on the western and southern railways as well as express connections every two hours on the other main lines . At the same time, the fleet was expanded to include 370 new trains and 100,000 seats. Since the NAT'91 was advertised as the “first big step of the new railway into the future”, the Pflatsch was often combined with the lettering “Die Neue Bahn” as the ÖBB logo at the time, especially on printed matter and in TV advertisements from the 1990s .

Conversion to society (1992)

In 1992, ÖBB was spun off from the federal budget by the Vranitzky III federal government , an SPÖ - ÖVP coalition, and converted into a company with its own legal personality (a hybrid of GmbH and stock corporation). The company was 100% owned by the Republic of Austria. The conversion pursued two main goals: on the one hand, on the occasion of Austria's imminent accession to the European Union , it was necessary to comply with the EU directives, and on the other hand, the financial requirements of the public sector were to be reduced while increasing efficiency and improving competitiveness.

Restructuring of the ÖBB (2004)

Protest stickers against the restructuring of the ÖBB in 2004

In 2004 the ÖBB was reorganized by the ÖVP - FPÖ - Bundesregierung Schüssel II as a group with ÖBB Holding AG and operational subsidiaries, for the first time in the history of the Austrian state railway system entirely in accordance with corporate law for private entrepreneurs. In addition to exercising the share rights in the subordinate companies, the holding company is to coordinate the uniform strategic orientation of the entire group and perform group-wide tasks. As of January 1, 2005, the subsidiaries of ÖBB-Holding AG started to operate independently in the group. In 2012, the SPÖ -ÖVP- federal government Faymann I approved measures that again restrict the independence of the “holding subsidiaries”.


The ÖBB are organized according to the Federal Railway Act, which was last amended in 2009 and before that in 2003 by the Federal Railway Structure Act. Since January 1, 2005, the Austrian Federal Railways have been divided into four independent sub-companies headed by ÖBB-Holding AG , which is 100% owned by the Republic of Austria.

Group structure

Group organization of the ÖBB (2005–2009)
ÖBB group organization chart, as of August 30, 2017

With effect from January 1 , 2005, a new organizational structure came into force, which was heavily criticized in advance. The core of the new structure is the establishment of independent sub-companies. The aim of the reform was to separate the rail infrastructure and rail operations.

The ÖBB-Holding AG (Hip Vienna 10 , Am Hauptbahnhof 2) takes over the equity of the federal true and ensures a uniform strategic alignment of the group. There are three operative daughters assigned to her:

Further subsidiaries of ÖBB-Holding AG:

  • ÖBB-Business Competence Center GmbH 100% subsidiary
  • ÖBB-Werbung GmbH 100% subsidiary
  • European Contract Logistics- Austria GmbH 100% subsidiary
  • iMobility GmbH 100% subsidiary (developer of the mobile app wegfinder )

The sub-companies Personenverkehr AG and Rail Cargo Austria AG have a 100% interest in:

  • ÖBB-Produktion Gesellschaft mbH ( traction and shunting )
  • ÖBB-Technische Services-Gesellschaft mbH

While Rail Cargo Austria AG holds a 51% majority in technical services, production is owned equally by the two companies.

Temporal implementation of the ÖBB reform (Federal Railway Structure Act 2003)

Basic data
Title: Federal Railway Structure Act 2003
Long title: Federal law amending the 1992 Federal Railway Act, the Rail Infrastructure Financing Act, the High-Performance Lines Act, the Federal Act to Establish a 'Brenner Railway GmbH', the Federal Care Allowance Act, the Prisoner of War Compensation Act, the Labor Constitution Act and the Employees Act and repealing the Railway Works Constitution Act
Type: Federal law
Scope: Republic of Austria
Legal matter: Collective labor law
Reference: BGBl. I No. 138/2003
Date of law: December 30, 2003
Effective date: December 30, 2003
Please note the note on the applicable legal version !

The organization of the Austrian Federal Railways is based on the Federal Railways Structure Act 2003 , which in particular amended the Federal Railways Act 1992 . The change in the corporate form of the Austrian Federal Railways was not made all at once, but in several stages:

  • January 1, 2004: The Federal Railway Structure Act comes into force
  • March 31, 2004: Foundation of ÖBB-Holding AG
  • May 17, 2004: Foundation of ÖBB-Personenverkehr AG , Rail Cargo Austria AG , ÖBB-Infrastruktur Betrieb AG , ÖBB-Dienstleistungs GmbH and (in advance of ÖBB-Infrastruktur Bau AG) ÖBB-Immobilienmanagement GmbH
  • June 30, 2004: Foundation of ÖBB-Traktion GmbH and ÖBB-Technische Services GmbH
  • September 30, 2004: Spin-off of the business unit ÖBB-Dienstleistungs GmbH
  • December 30, 2004: Contribution of the federal shares of the Brenner Railway GmbH to the "ÖBB-old"
  • January 1, 2005: Spin-off of 17 companies
  • March 16, 2005: Conversion of "ÖBB-old" into ÖBB-Infrastruktur Bau AG
  • April 20, 2005: Merger of the formerly independent Eisenbahn-Hochleistungsstrecken AG (HL-AG), founded in 1989, and the financing part of the Rail Infrastructure Financing Company (SCHIG) with ÖBB-Infrastruktur Bau AG

Railway reform 2009

With its publication on August 19, 2009, the Austrian Parliament passed a federal law that changes three relevant railway laws. Most of the changes were made in the Federal Railway Act.

Basic data
Title: Changes to the Federal Railway Act, the Private Railway Act 2004 and the Railway Act 1957
Long title: Federal law amending the Federal Railway Act, the Private Railway Act 2004 and the Railway Act 1957
Type: Federal law
Scope: Republic of Austria
Reference: BGBl. I No. 95/2009
Date of law: August 18, 2009
Please note the note on the applicable legal version !

The following changes have become legally binding:

  • ÖBB-Infrastruktur Bau AG and ÖBB-Infrastruktur Betrieb AG become ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG
  • ÖBB-Traktion GmbH becomes ÖBB-Produktion GmbH
  • Brenner Eisenbahn GmbH (BEG) is fully retroactive as of 1 January 2009 to the ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG integrated
  • Outsourcing of the infrastructure sub-area shunting to ÖBB-Produktion GmbH

Management (ÖBB Holding AG)

Status: May 2020

Andreas Matthä (CEO)
Arnold Schiefer (CFO since April 2019)
Supervisory board
Andrea Reithmayer, Elfriede Baumann, Brigitte Ederer , Markus Himmelbauer, Herbert Kasser, Angela Köppl, Cattina Maria Leitner, Kurt Weinberger
Employee representatives on the Supervisory Board: Roman Hebenstreit (3rd deputy), Günter Blumthaler, Olivia Janisch, Andreas Martinsich.

General Directors of the Austrian Federal Railways

Carl Ritter von Ghega
Christian Kern (2012)

The management of the Austrian Federal Railways and their predecessors was entrusted to the following people:

General Directors for State Railways (1842–1848)
Hermenegild by Francesconi (January 3, 1842 – July 1848)
Hock (1848)
Schmid (1848)
Carl Ritter von Ghega (August 1, 1848–…)
General Building Directorate (1850-1852)
Carl Ritter von Ghega (... - ...)
Central Directorate for Railway Buildings (1852-1859)
Carl Ritter von Ghega (… –1859)
General Inspection of the Austrian Railways (1874-1919)

(from 1875 as an authority with general director, from 1879 with divided competencies)

Wilhelm Nördling (1875–1879)
State Railways Directorate (1882–1884)
Aloys Freiherr Czedik von Bründelsberg (1882–…)
General Directorate of the Imperial and Royal State Railways (in the Imperial and Royal Ministry of Commerce, 1884–1896)
Aloys Freiherr Czedik von Bründelsberg (… –1892)
Leon Ritter von Bilínski (1892–1895)
Ernest von Koerber (1895-1896)
1896–1918 kk Ministry of Railways with several sections, no general director
General Management of the Austrian Federal Railways (1923–1938)
Hans Siegmund (October 1, 1923 – December 1924)
Josef Maschat (December 1924 – December 1926)
Rudolf Foest-Monshoff (December 1926 – March 1930)
Hans Sedlak (March – October 1930)
Franz G. Strafella (October 2, 1930– June 5, 1931)
Egon Seefehlner (June 1931 – February 1933)
Anton Schöpfer (February 1933 – March 1938)
General Directorate of the Austrian Federal Railways (1945–31 March 2004)
Ernst R. Kaan (Head of State Railways) (June 1945–19 May 1947)
Ernst Seidler (May 20, 1947– December 31, 1953)
Vinzenz Übeleis (January 1 to December 31, 1954)
Maximilian Schantl (January 13, 1955– December 31, 1966)
Bruno Kepnik (January 1, 1967– December 31, 1968)
Karl Kalz (January 1, 1969– June 13, 1974)
Wolfgang Pycha (June 14, 1974– June 13, 1984)
Ernst Gollner (June 14, 1984– April 30, 1987)
Heinrich Übleis (May 1, 1985– July 31, 1993)
Helmut Draxler (August 1, 1993– July 31, 2001)
ÖBB-Holding AG (since April 1, 2004)
Rüdiger vorm Walde (August 1, 2001– October 31, 2004)
Martin Huber (November 1, 2004– April 22, 2008)
Peter Klugar (from April 23, 2008 on an interim basis, May 26, 2008– June 6, 2010)
Christian Kern (June 7, 2010– May 17, 2016)
Josef Halbmayr (May 17-24 , 2016 interim)
Andreas Matthä (from May 24, 2016 on an interim basis, appointed by the Supervisory Board on July 4, 2016)

Change of leadership in 2008

On April 21, 2008, General Director Martin Huber offered to resign voluntarily (since the beginning of the year he has been criticized for speculation, controversial real estate deals and salaries). CFO Erich Söllinger, who for massive losses from financial speculation - for " Collateralized Debt Obligations " (CDO) in the amount of 612.9 million € now had to reserve around 230 million € in the ÖBB balance sheets - with Deutsche Bank in the year 2005 was held responsible without referring to the Supervisory Board, submitted his own notice on April 21, 2008. He left the board in October 2008. Gustav Poschalko left the board in November 2008. The board of directors was reduced to two after only being increased to four in December 2007. On May 26, 2008, the holding board member responsible for infrastructure and former CEO of Infrastruktur Betriebs AG, Peter Klugar, who had previously managed the business on an interim basis, was officially appointed by the supervisory board as board spokesman for ÖBB Holding AG. The vacant position of CFO was advertised again and filled with Josef Halbmayr.

In his inaugural press conference on May 27, 2008, which he held together with the Chairman of the Supervisory Board Horst Pöchhacker, Peter Klugar stated that the number of employees should increase slightly in the medium term. Klugar also announced a quality offensive in existing routes and plans to invest around 20% more in them. Likewise, under his leadership there should not be any further closures of branch lines, but some lines should be closed completely so that no regional authorities take over the subsequent use. As Horst Pöchhacker explained, the four sub-companies are to be strengthened in the future and the Holding AG will withdraw more. Pöchhacker justified this with the fact that the reconstruction of the ÖBB had been completed and a strong holding company was no longer necessary to achieve the goals.

Numbers, dates and facts

Number of passenger trains on the ÖBB infrastructure network (2015)

The key financial figures of ÖBB-Holding AG from 2018 are shown below. The numbers in brackets are the values ​​from 2017.

  • Turnover: 5,644 (5,522)
  • Total returns: 6,969 (6,755)
  • Cost of materials and purchased services: −1,988 (−1,926)
  • Personnel expenses: −2,692 (−2,543)
  • Other operating expenses: −429 (−462)
  • EBITDA : 1,860 (1,823)
  • Depreciation (including impairments): −1,073 (−1,033)
  • EBIT : 788 (799)
  • Financial result: −637 (−614)
  • EBT : 151 (176)
  • ROCE (in%): 3.0 (3.2)

Balance sheet figures according to IFRS of the ÖBB Group (in million EUR, rounded):

  • Balance sheet total: 29,710 (28,351)
  • Long-term assets: 28,386 (25,140)
  • Current assets: 1,324 (1,268)
  • Equity: 2,529 (2,306)
  • Equity ratio (in%): 8.5 (8.1)
  • Financial liabilities: 24,146 (23,549)
  • Net debt: 23,674 (23,101)
  • Gross investments: 2,591 (2,503)
  • Net Debt / EBITDA (Ratio): 12.7 (12.7)
  • Net Gearing (Ratio): 9.4 (10.0)

Employees of the ÖBB Group as of December 31, 2018:

  • Employees: 31,411 (42,850)
    • of which employees with final position: 20,697 (21,718)
    • additional apprentices 1,770 * (1,743) * In addition, 127 apprentices were employed by the general private foundation for vocational training in the 2018 financial year.

Operational key figures of the ÖBB Group (all information 2018):

  • Passengers (per year) 474.2 million
    • of which rail local transport 224.5 million
    • of which rail long-distance transport 36.9 million
    • of which bus 212.8 million
  • Passenger-kilometers by train (per year) 11.5 billion
    • of which local transport 5.5 billion
    • of which long-distance transport 6.0 billion
  • Ton-kilometers of goods (tons per year) 31.7 billion
  • Trains (per day) 6,596
    • of which local transport 4,279
    • of which long-distance traffic 340
    • thereof freight traffic 1,147
  • Train journeys (per year) 2,319,826
  • Locomotives 1,047
  • Passenger car 2,691
  • Freight car 25,698


ÖBB Infrastruktur AG as of 2014.

Facilities and operation:

  • Operating length of the route network (in km): 4,865
  • Track kilometers (including turnout length): 9,752
  • Tunnel: 248
  • Bridges: 6,335
  • Electronic signal boxes: 290
  • Signals: 25,521
  • Level crossings (level crossings): 3,495
  • Avalanche and rockfall protection (km): 171
  • Rocks and embankments (ha): 2,712
  • Noise barriers (km): 854
  • Platforms (km): 389
  • Train stations and stops: 1.110
  • Elevators: 645
  • Escalators: 188
  • Loudspeaker systems: 1,906
  • Watches in the customer area: 3,930

Traction current:

  • Own generation of traction current in ÖBB power plants: 668 GWh
  • Traction current from the overhead line: 1,740 GWh
  • Traction current provided from renewable energy sources: 92.5%
  • Hydroelectric power plants: 10


  • Building area including leased outside areas (in million m²): 2.8
  • Land area (in million m²): 196
  • Building (structural engineering): 4,682

passenger traffic

A Railjet of the ÖBB ("Spirit of Salzburg") in Graz Ostbahnhof-Messe (2008)
An ICE of the ÖBB on Trisanna Bridge (2007)
An ÖBB-EuroCity on the Semmering Railway (2006)
A now decommissioned railcar of the ÖBB 4010 series in Graz (2002)

Long-distance transport

Long-distance traffic serves the following main lines within Austria. These are:

In addition, the following international routes are served:

Eight types of train and one type of bus are currently offered for long-distance transport by ÖBB PV-AG:

  • Railjet , RJ for short- this high-speed train has been ÖBB's new premium product since the end of 2008. It operates in the three classes of carriage First , Business (until April 2012 Premium ) and Economy on the Budapest – Vienna – Munich and Vienna – Salzburg – Innsbruck – Bregenz / Zurich routes. Since October 18, 2011, Railjets have also been used on the Vienna Meidling - Graz and Vienna Meidling - Villach (- Lienz ) routes.
  • Railjet Xpress , RJX forshort- Stands for accelerated Railjets that stop at fewer stations.
  • Intercity-Express , ICE for short- ICE T only operate in Austria. Since the timetable change on December 8, 2007, two pairs of trains have been running between Vienna and Frankfurt and three pairs of trains between Vienna and Dortmund. There is also a pair of trains Innsbruck - Kufstein - Munich - Nuremberg - Berlin - Hamburg and one Innsbruck - Karwendelbahn - Munich - Nuremberg - Berlin (- Stralsund on Sundays).
  • InterCity , IC for short- trains of this type consist primarily of unrevised ÖBB wagons and mostly have 1st class wagons.
  • EuroCity , or EC for short, trains of this type mainly consist of unrevised wagons of the ÖBB or rolling stock from other railway companies ( DB , FS , ČD , MÁV , SBB , , ). The main difference to the ÖBB-EuroCity was the mostly unrevised 1st class car. Revised wagons of other railway companies in EC traffic: DB, FS, SŽ, HŽ, ČD.
  • ÖBB Nightjet - This offer has been replacing the previous ÖBB night trains since December 11, 2016. For this purpose, the existing routes will be supplemented by several new routes, some of which have been taken over by DB, and the fleet of vehicles will be increased.
  • EuroNight , EN for short- these trains run as domestic or cross-border European night long-distance trains and mostly consist of modern wagons from ÖBB, DB, FS, SBB, MÁV and SNCF .
  • D-Zug , D for short- This type of train is being displaced more and more by the four types listed above and is now only a small minority of all train runs in Austria Holidays with increased passenger volume). They are mainly used at busy times on weekdays as a supplement to other long-distance trains (including RJ).
  • Intercitybus , IC-BUS for short - since October 1, 2007, these buses have beenrunning theGraz Hauptbahnhof – Wolfsberg (train station) –Klagenfurt Hauptbahnhofroute seven times a day. With the opening of the Koralmbahn , this connection will again be unattractive compared to the railway and will be replaced by long-distance trains. The ICB runs five times a day from Klagenfurt HBF to Venice. In addition to a 2nd class area, the bus is also equipped with a 1st class area.
  • HELLÖ is a long-distance bus company operated by ÖBB Fernbus GmbH. The buses were on Europe's roads from July 14, 2016 to July 31, 2017. The buses drove to all neighboring Austrian countries except Switzerland and Liechtenstein as well as to Croatia. From July 14, 2016 to September 30, 2016, a fixed price for beginners was offered at which each connection costs € 15 and each ticket can be used on the day of travel as an ÖBB Vorteilscard (without Railplus ). Tickets are available in the Hellö app , onthe Hellöswebsite and from the bus driver. The buses had power sockets, a snack machine and space for two wheelchairs. The Hellö fleet consisted of the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo 17 RHD. On May 22, 2017, ÖBB and Flixbus announced that the scheduled business would betaken overby Flixbus from August 2017.

In long-distance traffic, ÖBB trains are pulled by DB locomotives (such as the 101 series), the MÁV (470 series) and others, especially on the Westbahn. A special feature is the Munich – Zurich route, where the short section via Austria (Lindau Hbf – Bregenz – St. Margrethen) is served by trains that are 100% SBB vehicles (wagons and locomotives). Conversely, ÖBB locomotives come regularly to Germany and Hungary before international rolling stock. Transports are planned to Italy (except for the former Lienz – Innsbruck corridor traffic), the Czech Republic and Slovakia. However, due to the lack of approvals, these cannot yet be used. Since the delivery of the new class 1216 ("Taurus III") locomotives , cross-country runs to Italy, Slovenia and theoretically to Amsterdam have been possible. The type “Taurus II” (series 1116 ) could theoretically stay on the train until Paris or Copenhagen.

Local transport

Two ÖBB 5022 regional express trains to Szentgotthárd in Graz Don Bosco (2017).

About two thirds of all lines in local traffic are clocked, whereby the cycle times for high-speed traffic are not always precisely set, but only approximately. The trains run only 2nd class.

Four types of train are currently offered in local and regional transport by ÖBB PV-AG:

  • Regional train , or R trains forshort, which regularly serve train stations and stops on a railway line with a high number of passengers.
  • RegionalExpress , REX forshort- Stands for accelerated regional trains that do not stop at all stations.
  • Cityjet Xpress , CJX for short- since the 2019/2020 timetable change it has been used for accelerated regional trains between Vienna Westbahnhof and Amstetten.
  • S-Bahn , S for short- Timed local trains in metropolitan areas with stops at all stations.
Train on line S2 of the Wiener Schnellbahn (S-Bahn) to Wolkersdorf consisting of two 4020 multiple units in Atzgersdorf-Mauer (2016).

ÖBB post bus

Bus traffic is carried out by the subsidiary ÖBB-Postbus GmbH (Postbus for short) with around 2320 buses throughout Austria. Postbus is the largest provider of regular bus services in Austria.


Until March 2006 the ÖBB operated the Bodensee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft with the ships Austria , Austria and Vorarlberg as well as the Wolfgangsee fleet. The Bodensee-Schifffahrt was sold to the Vorarlberg entrepreneur Walter Klaus , who now operates it with his company "Bodenseeschifffahrt GmbH & Co" under the name Vorarlberg Lines-Bodenseeschifffahrt (VLB). The Wolfgangsee fleet was transferred to Salzburg AG together with the Schafbergbahn .

Tariff offers

The mobile phone ticket enables the ticket to be purchased via SMS . With some mobile phone operators, billing is carried out via the telephone bill, otherwise a Paybox registration is required to use this service. The “ Einfach-Raus-Ticket ” is aimed at small groups and families. There are also group tickets with which, depending on the size of the group (1–10 or more people), discounts of up to 30% on ÖBB tickets are granted.

Similar to Deutsche Bahn and the Swiss Federal Railways , ÖBB Personenverkehr AG offers customer cards for regular passengers with the Vorteilscard and the Österreichcard .

For young people under 26 there are cooperations with regional youth cards (Upper Austria: 4youCard , Lower Austria: 1424, Salzburg: S-Pass). The Vorteilscard for under 26s enables access to the corresponding offers. In addition, ÖBB offers the summer ticket for € 39 (<20 years) and € 69 (<26 years) a network card for all trains in Austria (except for EuroNight / Nightjet trains and private railways (except GySEV )). A Vorteilscard Jugend is required for this.

The business card can be used by companies, associations and institutions for their members (20% discount on ÖBB tickets for a period of three years, extension when a total annual turnover of 1000 euros is reached).

Under the name Sparschiene , limited seats are sold for destinations in Germany and abroad from 6 months to a maximum of 3 days before departure at discounted conditions (from € 9). The advantage for the company is a tendency towards better advance planning and utilization, the advantage for the customer is a cheaper ticket; Disadvantage that if you do not start the journey the ticket expires, in contrast to a normal train ticket, which is valid for much longer. The cards are sold online. In order for a route to be available as Sparschiene, it must be longer than 150 km and at least a long-distance train or an intercity bus must be used.

General smoking ban on all trains

Since September 1, 2007, there has been a general smoking ban on all ÖBB trains. So far, this has only applied to local trains. Since - according to ÖBB statistics - 90% of the reservations for the non-smoking area are requested, the ÖBB decided to carry out the changeover. Other railways, such as the Graz-Köflacher Bahn , introduced the smoking ban on trains earlier. Since the 2008 amendment to the Tobacco Act came into force, there has also been a legal ban on smoking in all rooms in public places in Austria, which ex lege also includes "non-stationary facilities for public and private bus, rail, air and ship traffic".


After a ten-year partnership with the company e-express , the catering services on the trains were re -tendered in 2011. Previously, allegations were made that the company had offered expired goods for sale and also carried out wage dumping . Until recently, the company denied these allegations. On April 1, 2012, Henry am Zug , a subsidiary of the Austrian company Do & Co , took over the entire catering for ÖBB. In addition to the dining cars, it also includes at-seat service in the first and business class, as well as the trolley service in the second class. After a changeover phase, a new menu followed, as well as price reductions on certain product groups. In 2015 Do & Co announced the withdrawal from catering at ÖBB after irregularities in working hours and the failed collective agreement. Since April 1, 2018, the Austrian Donhauser GmbH has been operating the catering services on ÖBB trains with on-site service in business and first class, dining cars and trolley service in second class. The ÖBB caterer e-express, which was active until 2011, also belonged to Donhauser GmbH. With the switch to the new caterer, it is also possible to order in Business and First Class via all WiFi-enabled mobile devices directly at the seat via the Railnet operated by ÖBB in the Railjets. During the conversion phase there were initial problems because the handover of the properties and equipment from Do & Co to Don did not go smoothly.

Freight transport

Ballast wagons of ÖBB-Infrastruktur Aktiengesellschaft at Krems an der Donau train station as seen from the car park (2017)

The group’s subsidiary Rail Cargo Austria , which employs around 8,500 people, handles freight transport . The subsidiary Rail Cargo Hungaria (formerly MÁV Cargo) is responsible for business in Eastern Europe.


Incidents occur again and again when operating the railway. On average over the last few years (since 2010) there have been almost two accidents per year with human injury and / or substantial property damage . Between 2010 and the beginning of 2018, five people were killed.

ÖBB regularly emphasized that the level of safety on the railway was very high and that the number of accidents was falling slightly or remained the same. However, at the beginning of 2018, the railway came under pressure due to several serious accidents caused by alleged attention problems of the train drivers and tried to get these problems under control through unconventional service instructions. In the future, train drivers will have to announce every signal out loud, and other methods of increasing awareness are also being considered.

Disability associations criticize the 2019 awareness campaign

In October 2019, ÖBB started an awareness campaign to point out the dangers on tracks and level crossings. The campaign shows healthy young models who have been retouched with a disability. Several organizations working for equality for people with disabilities have criticized the campaign:

The ÖBB want to evoke emotions such as shock and pity in the viewers of the advertising posters. For this, people with disabilities are supposedly instrumentalized. "

- Christine Steger from the Monitoring Committee Austria

" Here the ÖBB actually contradicts itself; In the case of outdated train stations, all too often the only step-free route is "crossing the tracks". "

- Bernadette Feuerstein from SLIÖ

Wanting to shock people with disabilities in 2019 is not a sensible measure of inclusion, as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities prescribes. "

- Martin Ladstätter from Biceps

The core of the criticism relates to the task of a state enterprise to break down prejudices against disabilities and not to portray the disabled in the role of victim or disability as a punishment. A statement by the ÖBB confirms this intention to instrumentalize disability through a declared "wake-up call" through the awareness campaign. Activists also criticized the fact that experts with disabilities were not included in the campaign planning, even though it was about disability.

Pension system

The employment contracts at ÖBB were largely aligned with civil servant law until 1992. Due to the Federal Railroad Act 1992, the ÖBB had to create a new service law for new employees, which should be based on the provisions of the Salaried Employees Act and which came into force at the beginning of 1996 due to transition periods.

Nevertheless, the pension regulations of the ÖBB continue to cause massive and persistent criticism and are also regularly the subject of reform proposals by the Court of Auditors . The Court of Auditors criticized the fact that in 2013 93% of employees retired due to illness and an average of 52 years.

In May 2018, a survey of the degree of implementation of previous ACA recommendations and the development of the costs of the ÖBB pension system became public. Although the number of recipients of federal railway civil servant pensions fell from around 72,700 to 64,234 between 2008 and 2016, the expenses for these pensions rose by 108 million euros to 2.042 billion euros. The average retirement age of ÖBB retirees rose from 2014 to 2016 to around 56 years, but is still around four years below the standard retirement age . The Court of Auditors therefore criticized the fact that five out of six recommendations had not been implemented and that potential savings had decreased from around 1.07 billion euros to 560 million euros. These recommendations range from freezing or increasing pension security contributions in order to raise the continuously decreasing degree of self-coverage of the railway pension insurance and to contain additional state payments to discounts for ÖBB early retirees to the requirement to apply the Special Pension Limitation Act in order to reduce exorbitantly high individual pensions.

Railway station offensive

The modernized main train station Graz
The modernized Krems an der Donau station

The term “station offensive”, created for marketing reasons, is used to describe an ÖBB investment program in Austrian train stations that has been running since 1997. The most important train stations in Austria are to be modernized and converted into attractive transport hubs or newly built as such.

The original plan was to renovate 43 train stations and another 50 stops as part of the train station offensive. After a calculated increase in costs by four times to around two billion euros (among other things because cost items such as necessary platform renovations were not included in the calculation) the project was reduced to 20 larger stations under the ÖVP-FPÖ / BZÖ government (2000-2006) . The financial framework for this is around 300 million euros.

All main train stations in Austria have already been completed as part of the train station offensive. These include the main train stations in Graz , Innsbruck , Linz , Klagenfurt and Leoben . The new construction of the Bregenz train station is being planned.

In addition, smaller train stations in particular have been or are being rebuilt as part of the federal government's economic stimulus package . The stimulus package was initiated primarily to secure jobs for construction workers in difficult economic times and at the same time to improve the rail infrastructure.

Power supply

The ÖBB network is operated with single-phase alternating current 15  kV , 16.7  Hz . The substations are fed via 110 kV traction power lines , and traction power is generated at a frequency of 16.7 Hz. Until October 16, 1995, the nominal frequency was 16⅔ Hz .

The Austrian Federal Railways operate eight of their own hydropower plants for the production of traction current in Braz, Spullersee, Fulpmes and Obervellach as well as the Stubachtal power plant group consisting of the Enzingerboden, Schneiderau, Uttendorf I and Uttendorf II power plants. The Tauernmoos power plant is scheduled to go into operation in 2017/2018, the However, no traction current is generated directly, but 50 Hz three-phase current , which is then to be converted in Uttendorf. The water quantities required for traction power production are collected in the Tauernmoossee, Weißsee, Ammersee and Salzplattensee reservoirs, the Beimsee reservoir and the Enzingerboden equalization basin and fed to the turbines via pressure pipes.

One third of the total annual requirement of around 2,200 GWh is generated by the railway's own power plants. About 25% is obtained from four partner hydropower plants (St. Pantaleon, Weyer, Annabrücke, Steeg); the rest is bought in from the public 50-Hertz three-phase network and converted into traction current in five converter plants (Ötztal, St. Michael, Bergern, Kledering, Auhof) and one converter plant (Timelkam). Another converter at the Uttendorf site is scheduled to go into operation in autumn 2014. The suppliers guarantee the Austrian Federal Railways that the required amount of electricity will also be produced predominantly from hydropower. The ÖBB thus point out in the environmental balance of the traction power supply that 97% comes from domestic hydropower.

Densification of passenger trains, the expansion of local transport in metropolitan areas, increases in speed, more powerful locomotives and improvements in comfort mean that electricity demand is steadily increasing. Countermeasures are the use of electric locomotives, which feed electricity back into the overhead line when braking (" regenerative braking ") and the use of optimization programs that help reduce electricity transmission losses. Existing systems are modernized and expanded. When planning new systems, one continues to rely on the use of domestic hydropower.

The two power plants Rosenbach and Lassach of the ÖBB do not generate traction current , but supply three-phase current . They were built to supply station buildings. It was not until 1955 that these areas were connected to the public electricity grid.


Example of a bilingual announcement from an ÖBB long-distance train, spoken by Chris Lohner
  • Most of the announcements and announcements at the ÖBB train stations have been spoken by the Austrian actress and presenter Chris Lohner for over 30 years . The switch to the electronically generated voice “Petra”, which has been planned since 2010, is viewed very critically by passengers, which is why Lohner's voice was digitized .
  • In addition to its own lines in Austria, ÖBB is also the current concessionaire and operator of the railway line in the Principality of Liechtenstein from Feldkirch in Austria via the Schaan-Vaduz station in Liechtenstein to Buchs SG in Switzerland in accordance with the State Treaty of August 27, 1870.
  • As part of “ cross-border leasing ” contracts, stations, locomotives, wagons and signal systems were largely sold to US finance companies and leased back with buyback options . Due to the crisis on the American credit market , these leasing contracts have become a major burden on ÖBB's finances.
  • The Austrian Federal Railways have been a member of the TEE Rail Alliance with DB AG and SBB since June 2000 . She is a founding member of the Railteam , an association of European railway companies founded on July 2nd, 2007 .
  • The colors on the sets and the ÖBB logo symbolize the flag of Austria in red and white (red).
  • The Journal Onrail was on display in the long-distance trains . It was replaced by another.
  • At the end of 2009, the ÖBB opened the first BahnStore at Mistelbach station , a ticket counter where, in addition to tickets, drinks, snacks, magazines and other everyday products are offered. So far (March 2014) these BahnStores can be found at seven train stations.
  • In May 2017, the credibility of various Austrian companies was assessed. 55.1% of those surveyed considered ÖBB to be credible, but this is the lowest value in the group of infrastructure companies surveyed . The private competitor WESTbahn received the highest value with 60.9% .


  • Lorenz Gallmetzer / Christoph Posch: 175 years of railways for Austria , Brandstätter, Vienna 2012.
  • Ulrich Schefold: 150 years of railways in Austria . Südwest-Verlag, Munich 1986.
  • Matthias Wiener: ÖBB is changing . Eisenbahn Journal, special edition 1/2006, ISBN 3-89610-154-4 .

See also

Web links

Commons : Austrian Federal Railways  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Arnold Schiefer changes from the supervisory board to the executive board . Article dated December 10, 2018, accessed June 3, 2019.
  2. a b Annual Report ÖBB 2018 (PDF 8.4 MB)
  3. ^ Ordinance of the Federal Minister of Transport of March 11, 1921 on the change from the designation “Austrian State Railways” to “Austrian Federal Railways”. In: BGBl . No. 182/1921 . Vienna March 24, 1921 ( online at ALEX ).
  4. Federal law on the formation of an economic body "Austrian Federal Railways", Federal Law Gazette No. 407/1923 (= p. 1378 f.)
  5. Federal Law Gazette No. 453/1923 (= p. 1561)
  6. ^ ÖBB: Displaced years. Railway and National Socialism in Austria 1938–1945
  7. ^ Birkhofer Beat: Oensingen-Balsthal-Bahn, in service in the region since 1899. 1999, ISBN 3-905404-06-0 , p. 116, 120/121, with photo from 1950 of the "ÖBB K2c 104"
  8. RIS = legal information system
  9. ^ Export, Schriftzug, Pflatsch und Knatsch , Andrea Maria Dusl in Falter 29/2010 from July 19, 2010
  10. On the structure and history of the “NAT'91” project (1990–2010) ,, accessed on November 28, 2019
  11. a b Poster or information sheet on the New Austrotakt (NAT'91) ,, accessed on November 28, 2019
  12. ^ Die Neue Bahn - ÖBB advertising in the 1990s ,, accessed on November 28, 2019
  13. ^ ÖBB-Holding AG: Tasks
  14. ^ Announcement The structure of the ÖBB from January 1, 2005 . In: Eisenbahn-Revue International , issue 2/2004, ISSN  1421-2811 , p. 65.
  15. ÖBB Holding Imprint , accessed on December 18, 2014.
  16. ^ Austrian Federal Railways: Organization ( Memento from August 19, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  17. ÖBB take over iMobility GmbH. Retrieved January 8, 2018 .
  18. Organization chart, as of March 3, 2014
  19. a b Federal Railway Structure Act 2003, Federal Law Gazette I No. 138/2003 (pdf); Parliamentary materials 93 / ME and Zu 93 / ME (XXII.GP) Federal Railway Structure Act 2003
  20. Federal Act on the Reorganization of the Legal Relationships of the Austrian Federal Railways (Federal Railways Act 1992) Federal Law Gazette No. 825/1992 ; Parliamentary materials III-162 dB (XX.GP) Federal Railways Act 1992
  21. Holding AG of the Austrian Federal Railways: The implementation of the ÖBB reform ( Memento from November 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  22. Federal Law Gazette I No. 95/2009 Amendment of the Federal Railway Act, the Private Railway Act 2004 and the Railway Act 1957
  23. Federal Railway Act in the version 2009 (PDF file; 222 kB) Retrieved on July 10, 2010
  25. ÖBB supervisory board newly constituted . Article of February 28, 2018.
  26. Schiefer new CFO of ÖBB-Holding . Article dated December 7, 2018, accessed December 7, 2018.
  27. ^ General directors of the ÖBB and forerunners. In: ÖBB Handbuch 1997. Compiled by Alfred Horn, Bohmann Verlag, Vienna 1997, ISBN 3-7002-1040-X , pp. 43–44.
  28. Officially: Christian Kern becomes the new ÖBB boss. In: March 9, 2010, accessed January 6, 2018 .
  29. - Andreas Matthä is the new ÖBB boss . Article dated July 4, 2016, accessed July 4, 2016.
  30. a b Falter: Pretty crazy ( Memento from January 3, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  31. ^ Wiener Zeitung (May 27, 2008): ÖBB: Strategy debate enters the hot phase ( Memento from June 5, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  32. ÖBB-Holding AG (Ed.): Annual Report 2018 ÖBB-Holding AG . Vienna 2019, p. 228 .
  33. ÖBB Holding AG (Ed.): ÖBB compact 2018/2019 . Vienna 2019, p. 72 .
  34. ^ IC 118 ,, accessed on May 22, 2019
  35. - ( Memento from October 8, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  36. ÖBB take over night train connections from Deutsche Bahn. In: October 7, 2016, accessed December 31, 2017 .
  37. ÖBB departs with the long-distance bus from Hellö. In: May 22, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2017 .
  38. OEBB SparSchiene ( Memento from August 11, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on June 6, 2012
  39. Do & Co catering in future on ÖBB trains from January 26, 2012
  40. ^ Thu - & - co-catering in ÖBB trains on rails from April 2, 2012
  41. Do & Co terminates contract with ÖBB train catering. In: Retrieved June 18, 2016 .
  42. Donhauser replaces Henry am Zug as ÖBB caterer - Retrieved February 19, 2019 (Austrian German).
  43. Do & Co and Don argue about handing over the ÖBB catering - Retrieved February 19, 2019 (Austrian German).
  44. See, Rail Cargo Austria and MÁV Cargo together number one in Central and Eastern Europe, press release of December 2, 2008 . Archived from the original on April 16, 2009. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
  45. ^ ÖBB on train accidents: "No series" - March 21, 2018, accessed March 21, 2018 .
  46. Dominik Schreiber: After the series of accidents: Train drivers have to talk to themselves . February 23, 2018 ( [accessed on March 21, 2018]).
  47. "Disparaging": Disabled people's associations criticize the ÖBB campaign "Take care" Standard on October 29, 2019
  48. Discriminatory ÖBB campaign aims to discourage people with disabilities on October 28, 2019
  49. People with disabilities - as a deterrent ?! APA notification dated October 28, 2019
  50. “Take care of yourself”: ÖBB wants to deter people with disabilities. In: Hannah Wahl. November 11, 2019, accessed on January 19, 2020 (German).
  51. ^ Union of Railway Workers: Statement on the draft of an ÖBB service law law. 2003, accessed May 14, 2018 .
  52. ÖBB retirement age at almost 53 . March 11, 2015 ( [accessed May 14, 2018]).
  53. Andrea Hodoschek: ÖBB civil servant pensions cost more than two billion euros . May 11, 2018 ( [accessed May 14, 2018]).
  54. Court of Auditors warns of savings package for ÖBB pensions . In: . May 11, 2018 ( [accessed May 14, 2018]).
  55. Court of Auditors warns of savings package for ÖBB pensions . In: . May 11, 2018 ( [accessed May 14, 2018]).
  56. ^ Kurier: ÖBB-Offensive: Expensive and delayed ( Memento from August 26, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  58. ( Memento from August 2, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  59. Chris Lohner: ÖBB voice ORF for 30 years on February 5, 2009, accessed on February 6, 2009
  60. Chris Lohner remains with the ÖBB Wiener Zeitung on August 4, 2011, accessed on January 14, 2014
  61. As the successor company of the Vorarlberger Bahn and with regard to the State Treaty of August 27, 1870 on the construction of a railway from Lindau via Bregenz to St. Margrethen, as well as from Feldkirch to Buchs (ÖRGBl 1871/13, p. 23 ff).
  62. Der Standard (July 28, 2008): Group is again victim of the US credit crisis
  63. First ÖBB train doors in Mistelbach . In: . ( [accessed December 30, 2017]).
  64. Birgit Brandner, Thomas Schwabl: Credibility Ranking 2017., May 30, 2017, p. 24 , accessed on March 21, 2018 .

Coordinates: 48 ° 10 ′ 8.1 ″  N , 16 ° 20 ′ 48.9 ″  E