from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Route length: 2.880 km
Gauge : up to 2008: 1000 mm
since 2009: 900 mm
Power system : 600 volts  =
Maximum slope : 116 
Minimum radius : 43 m
Top speed: 25 km / h
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Transfer to the Linz tram
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0.000 Urfahr mountain station 264  m above sea level A.
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0.200 Spazgasse (since 2009) 277  m above sea level A.
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0.700 Bruckner University 317  m above sea level A.
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0.900 Tiergarten (since 1988) 338  m above sea level A.
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1.400 Stencil leather 382  m above sea level A.
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1.800 High dam 429  m above sea level A.
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2.000 incision 445  m above sea level A.
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2.200 Upper mask leather 461  m above sea level A.
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2.600 Pöstlingberg Schlössl (until 2008: hotel) 499  m above sea level A.
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2,880 Pöstlingberg 519  m above sea level A.

The Pöstlingbergbahn is a 2880 meter long narrow-gauge railway line in Linz , which connects the Urfahr district with the Pöstlingberg . The 1897 in the meter gauge built cable car was between 2008 and 2009 to 900 millimeters umgespurt and the Linzer streetcar network linked. Since then, line 50, also known as the Pöstlingbergbahn, has been running on a 4,140-meter-long route from the main square in downtown Linz to the Landgutstraße stop on the tracks of the Linz tram and from there on the original Pöstlingbergbahn route to the Pöstlingberg. Like the tram, the Pöstlingbergbahn is operated by Linz AG Linien and is also considered to be one of the steepest adhesion railways in the world.


The Pöstlingberg has been the destination of pilgrims since the middle of the 18th century, and from the end of the same century the mountain was increasingly frequented by day trippers, especially after the summit region was cut down for military reasons in 1809 and in the 1830s and offered an impressive view . This made the construction of a mountain railway seem worthwhile, as was also planned in other cities towards the end of the 19th century. In 1891 the engineer Josef Urbanski developed the project for a steam-powered rack railway for the Pöstlingberg . Urbanski found a lot of ideal but hardly any financial support. He was able to complete a route draft on his own and in 1893 joined forces with the Viennese construction company Ritschl & Co.

Ritschl, on the other hand, became a member of the 1895 Dr. Carl Beurle founded consortium for the construction of electrical systems in Linz , which also included the kk priv. Länderbank Wien and the Union-Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft Berlin. The aim of the consortium was

  • the construction of a steam power plant,
  • the electrification of the Linz tram and
  • the construction of an electrical adhesion railway on the Pöstlingberg.

This pushed Urbanski's rack railway project and Urbanski himself into the background. Only the route was partly based on Urbanski's draft route, without his merits being properly recognized. He finally even filed a lawsuit for his authorship of the project, but lost it. He received the comparatively small sum of 100 guilders from the municipality of Urfahr as compensation for his routing costs. He left Linz in 1897, deeply disappointed.

In order to increase the attractiveness of the Pöstlingberg as an excursion destination and to promote electricity to the population, plans were made to redesign the fortifications on the Pöstlingberg, which was disarmed in 1883, in addition to the construction of the mountain railway . Therefore, the construction company Ritschl & Co bought the fort in 1897 and three months later transferred the ownership rights via the Länderbank to the newly founded Tramway- und Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft Linz-Urfahr (TEG), the forerunner of today's Linz AG Linien. Tower IV of the fortress became the mountain station of the Pöstlingbergbahn. The roof of Tower V has been redesigned into a viewing platform. A hotel-restaurant, the Bergbahn-Hotel (today “ Pöstlingbergschlössl ”) was built on the fortress wall between Tower VI and Tower I. In 1906 the grotto railway was opened in Tower II .

A tram railcar at Urfahr mountain station
Summer railcar II and railcar XV in the Pöstlingbergbahnhof, 1970

The concession and the start of construction on the mountain railway took place in 1897. On Pentecost Sunday, May 29, 1898, the opening took place twelve days after the date stipulated for completion and commissioning , following the authorization granted the previous evening .

The 2880 meter long Pöstlingbergbahn was initially designed as a pure excursion train for summer operation, which is why initially only six open "summer multiple units" were procured. But even in the first year of operation, if the weather was nice, they drove into December. For this reason, two additional closed railcars were acquired as early as 1899.

Eight weeks after the opening of the route, the railway took over the transport of the post on the Pöstlingberg to the valley twice a day. The mail train left the mountain station at 9:50 a.m. and 8:12 p.m.

Passenger numbers

Until the First World War, the frequency slowly rose to just over 200,000 passengers per year. In the war and the immediate post-war years, the number of passengers rose by leaps and bounds to 688,000 travelers (1918) due to the “ hamster trips ” of the townspeople in the countryside. Passenger numbers hovered around 400,000 annually in the 1920s and dropped to 300,000 annually in the 1930s. During the war and after the Second World War, the number of journeys reached record levels; in 1943, for example, 1,264,000 passengers were transported. Until the mid-1950s, the numbers fluctuated between just under 1.0 and 1.1 million passengers. Since then there has been a steady decline. Today around 500,000 people use the train every year.

In 1988 the company switched to one-man operation. The railcars, with the exception of the summer cars, were therefore equipped with a dead man's device. Furthermore, the points that previously had to be set by the conductor were given electric drives and key switches with which they can be changed by the driver himself. Vending machines were set up for ticket sales.

After a Pöstlingbergbahn wagon derailed at the Schableder stop on January 24, 2005, a discussion about safety began and Mayor Dobusch suggested that the railway should be detoured and lead to the main square. In July 2006 the modernization of the Pöstlingbergbahn was decided.

Car 502 in winter

The most important change was the gauge change to 900 millimeters. The tracks were completely rebuilt, with Vignole rails on concrete sleepers being used instead of the previous wedge-head rails on steel sleepers. Three new low-floor multiple units were procured. These vehicles were designed in a " retro design". In addition, three old multiple units were equipped with new underframes and upgraded for use in double traction. Magnetic rail brakes are used as brakes instead of caliper brakes .

Since August 2010, the cars have been running in mixed operation on weekends and public holidays every 15 minutes. The new low-floor multiple units run every full and half hour and two converted old vehicles drive in between.

All these changes were a prerequisite for connecting the Pöstlingbergbahn with the tram. Those responsible hoped that the direct connection between Hauptplatz and Pöstlingberg would stimulate the railway with more tourists coming from the main square or the landing stages. Many Upper Austrians, such as the former mayor of Linz, Hugo Schanovsky, feared that the appearance of the historical furniture would be impaired in the course of modernization.

The traffic was temporarily suspended on March 24, 2008. During the construction work there was a replacement rail service with buses of the Linz Linien. The total cost of the renovation was 35 million euros, including 20 million euros for the vehicles and 15 million euros for the renovation of the route itself and the new terminal on the main square.

The first of the three new vehicles (I – III and 501–503, purchase price each 4.6 million euros) of the Bombardier Mountainrunner type was delivered to the Remise Kleinmünchen on April 2, 2009. The remaining two vehicles followed by early May. The three converted vehicles VIII, X and XI were delivered at a later date.

The official opening of the new Pöstlingbergbahn took place on May 29, 2009 on the 111th birthday.


Valley station
Mountain station in a former fortification tower

Valley station

When it opened in 1898, the valley station was right next to the tram terminus, which required a crossing with the Mühlkreisbahn . Because of problems with this crossing (for more details see section Historical technology and operation ) the valley station was moved to the northern side of the Mühlkreisbahn in 1899. The building with its half-timbered brick wall and turret was also built.

In the course of the renovation, the old valley station ceased to function in 2008 and now houses a small museum about the old Pöstlingbergbahn. The new Pöstlingbergbahn with a gauge of 900 millimeters crosses the Mühlkreisbahn again and runs south of the valley station and Mühlkreisbahn to Kaarstraße, where it is connected to the tram network at the Landgutstraße stop (final stop of tram lines 3 and 4). On this she drives to the main square, where the new departure point is located.


The Pöstlingbergbahn is the steepest adhesion railway in the world. Its maximum gradient was originally given as 105 ‰, more recent measurements even showed a value of 116 ‰ on the so-called Hohen Damm. Line 28E of the Lisbon tram has an even greater gradient, reaching 135 ‰ on a short section. In addition, there was a tram in the city of Laon from 1899 to 1971 with a 750 meter long and 129 ‰ steep ramp, the rack provided there was only used for braking.


After reopening in May 2009, a 30-minute cycle was initially introduced. Operating hours are between 5:30 am (7:00 am on Sundays and public holidays) and 10:30 pm. From May to October the train runs every 15 minutes on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., as well as at Easter, on Advent Sundays and at the time of the Conception of Mary. Since the opening of the Bruckner University on Hagen, there are also short trains between the main square and the Bruckner University on school days. These are - like the pull-in journeys to the Urfahr mountain station - marked as line 50 *.

The remise for the vehicles of the mountain railway is located on the premises of the mountain railway station.

The bicycles had to reconstruction in 2008 outside possible on the front side of the railcars by the bikes were hung upside down on two hooks. With the reopening, the possibility of taking bicycles with you was abolished despite the resistance of the population.

Historical technology and operation

Scheme of the caliper brake
Structure of the caliper brake

This section describes the technology and operation of the old, meter-gauge Pöstlingbergbahn until 2008.

The main problem with steep railways is not managing the incline when going uphill, but braking safely when going downhill, even in the most unfavorable circumstances. This requires a brake that is independent of the friction between the wheel and the rail. They opted for the otherwise mainly in funiculars usual clasp brake . This consists of brake shoes that grip the rails like a tongs.

Wedge head rail (profile)
With this view of the route you can see the guardrails very well
Towing switch in the mountain station
Track crossing with the Mühlkreisbahn

The track width of 1000 millimeters was chosen to be somewhat wider than that of the tram with 900 millimeters in order to have more space for the installation of more powerful engines. The wedge-shaped rail profile is adapted to the shape of the brake calipers. At times there were problems to find a manufacturer for this rare rail profile.

From 1909, additional guardrails in the curves reduced the excessive wear of the rail profile and wheel flanges . Previously, one had experimented with double-sided wheel flanges, which reduced the problem but did not solve it.

Since a track channel had to be kept free on both sides of the rails because of the caliper brake, conventional switch switches could not be used. The Pöstlingbergbahn used so-called drag switches , in which a separate section of rail was turned in or out for each direction of travel. As a special feature, the centerpiece also had to be replaced by a rotatable rail ("Herzschlepp").

For the same reason, the originally existing crossing with the Mühlkreisbahn could only be made with a special construction: the rails of the Pöstlingbergbahn lay over the rails of the Mühlkreisbahn and could be lifted and turned away. This process turned out to be so cumbersome that the construction of a new terminus north of the Mühlkreisbahn began in the opening year.


The Pöstlingbergbahn originally ran every 20 minutes. The journey time was 16 minutes, after eight minutes the crossing took place in template leather. When there was a lot of traffic, two (rarely three) railcars operated one behind the other in subsequent train operations . In this case, the leading railcar carried a round, red disk with a white border as a sign that another railcar was following (important for handling train crossings). The existing evasions also made it possible to reduce the cycle times to ten minutes. The operating time of the train was extended to 10:51 p.m. in the year of the European Capital of Culture 2009;

Vehicle fleet

Summer railcar II at the Hagen siding, 1970
Summer railcar III in the Historama Ferlach, 2009
Railcar XIV near the Schableder station
Railcar XVI leaving the coach house
Railcar XV at the Tiergarten stop
The former summer car IV as GM 100 on the Gmundner Tram
Railcar 502 on the main square
Railcar X + VIII on the Nibelungen Bridge

Two-axle railcars with a short wheelbase operated on the Pöstlingbergbahn, each powered by two motors with (today) 24 kilowatts of power. The current was drawn by means of pantographs. Since the First World War, these were no longer equipped with contact rollers, but with grinding shoes. This principle, which is rather rare in railways, corresponded to the system common to trolleybuses around the world. In addition to the block brake , there was an electrical resistance brake (inertia brake for the descent) and the above-mentioned caliper brake as an emergency brake.

Until 2008 there were three open railcars (summer cars, numbers I to III) and ten closed cars (numbers VI, VIII, X to XII and XIV to XVIII) available. The summer car IV has been on permanent loan on the Gmundner tram since 1995 and has been known as the GM 100 ever since. Car XIII was handed over to the St. Florian Museum Railway in 1979, where it was re-tracked to 900 millimeters. A total of three railcars were scrapped over time.

Because of the steep incline, there were no sidecars. Only for transporting materials, there were small Loren , also stood for catenary work a tower carts available (with adjustable track width 900/1000 mm).

The following vehicles operate and operate on the Pöstlingbergbahn:

number Construction year Manufacturer Remarks
501 2009 Bombardier Vienna four-axle low-floor articulated railcar (900 mm track width)
502 2009 Bombardier Vienna four-axle low-floor articulated railcar (900 mm track width)
503 2009 Bombardier Vienna four-axle low-floor articulated railcar (900 mm track width)
504 2011 Bombardier Vienna four-axle low-floor articulated railcar (900 mm track width)
I. 1898 Graz wagon factory Summer railcar , currently on display in the Urfahr depot as a museum piece
II 1898 Graz wagon factory Summer railcar, 1901 installation of side doors, from 1905 VI, 1937 doors removed and henceforth designated as V, scrapped in 1960
III 1898 Graz wagon factory Summer railcar, lent to the Carinthian nostalgia railways (Museum Ferlach)
IV 1898 Graz wagon factory Summer railcar, loaned to the Gmundner Tram
V 1898 Graz wagon factory 1920 Car body used for 82 tram sidecar
V 1921 Selischkar 1937 designated as VI
V 1962 Wages Shut down in 1989
VI 1898 Graz wagon factory from 1905 referred to as II
VI 1958 IT G Awarded to Stern & Hafferl
VII 1899 Graz wagon factory Scrapped in 1950
VII 1951 IT G Scrapped in 1979
VIII 1899 Graz wagon factory designated as VII from 1950, scrapped in 1951
VIII 1950 Graz wagon factory Relocated / modernized in 2009
IX 1904 Drobil 1941 Kobel glazing, retired in 1952
IX 1952 IT G Retired in 1979
X 1912 Graz wagon factory Retired in 1958
X 1959 IT G Relocated / modernized in 2009
XI 1948 IT G Relocated / modernized in 2009
XII 1950 IT G
XIII 1953 IT G To the 1979 Railway Museum St. Florian submitted
XIV 1954 IT G
XV 1954 IT G
XVI 1955 IT G Awarded to Stern & Hafferl
XVII 1957 IT G
other vehicles
I. 1898 - Lore
II 1898 - Lore
- 1971 IT G Tower car


On the occasion of the centenary of the Pöstlingbergbahn, the Austrian Post issued a special postage stamp.


  • Guide on the Pöstlingbergbahn and through Linz. Fink, Linz [ad Donau] 1899, AC09879824 .
  • Alfred Laula: The Pöstlingbergbahn. Steepest adhesion railway in Europe. Publisher Peter Pospischil, Vienna 1976, AC04683616 .
  • Peter Wegenstein, Othmar Bamer [photo]: The company Stern & Hafferl 3. Bahn im Bild, Volume 80, Pospischil, Vienna 1991, AC00770301 .
  • Christian Hager , Robert Schrempf: Our Pöstlingbergbahn. ESG Verkehr, Linz 1998, ISBN 3-901838-20-1 .
  • Wolfgang Kaiser: Trams in Austria . GeraMond Verlag, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-7654-7198-4 .
  • Robert Schrempf: Pöstlingbergbahn album. Verlag Schwandl, Linz 2009, ISBN 978-3-936573-24-4 .

Web links

Commons : Pöstlingbergbahn  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. 2009 to 2015 Hagen , at times Merkursiedlung
  2. On the first Sunday after the opening, in view of the good weather, the start of operations at 6:00 a.m. was planned. - See: Pöstlingbergbahn. In:  Tages-Post , June 5, 1898, p. 6, center left (online at ANNO ).Template: ANNO / Maintenance / tpt

Individual evidence

  1. a b The Linzer Pöstlingbergbahn - nostalgia and modernity harmoniously united (PDF) Brochure on linzag.at, accessed on March 2, 2019.
  2. ^ Announcement of the Ministry of Railways of April 30th, 1897, concerning the concession of a narrow-gauge small railway to be operated with electric power from Linz to Urfahr and from there to the Pöstlingberg. , RGBl. No. 121/1897
  3. Announcement of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Transport of October 20, 1936, regarding the amendment of the concession announcement of April 30, 1897, RG Bl. No. 121, for the narrow-gauge small railway from Linz to Urfahr and from there to the with electric power Pöstlingberg. , Federal Law Gazette No. 354/1936
  4. ↑ Opening of the Pöstlingbergbahn. In:  Tages-Post , June 1, 1898, p. 5, center left (online at ANNO ).Template: ANNO / Maintenance / tpt
  5. ^ Announcement of the Ministry of Railways of November 26th, 1897, regarding the extension of the construction period for the small railway from Linz to Urfahr and from there to the Pöstlingberg. , RGBl. No. 273/1897
  6. Pöstlingberg Post. In:  Tages-Post , August 2, 1898, p. 6, center left (online at ANNO ).Template: ANNO / Maintenance / tpt
  7. Erhard Gstöttner: On a journey through time with the Pöstlingbergbahn. Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, May 29, 2009, accessed on February 25, 2020 .
  8. 30 million euros investment. Linz Pöstlingbergbahn is being revitalized. ORF Upper Austria, July 6, 2006, accessed on February 25, 2020 .
  9. Green light for Pöstlingbergbahn. ORF Upper Austria, October 10, 2006, accessed on February 25, 2020 .
  10. Linz landmark. ORF Upper Austria, October 25, 2005, accessed on February 25, 2020 .
  11. 35 million euros. Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, May 29, 2009, accessed on February 25, 2020 .
  12. Maiden voyage. Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, May 30, 2009, accessed on February 25, 2020 .
  13. ^ Austria, Linz, Pöstlingbergbahn. In: viennaslide.com. Retrieved February 25, 2020 .
  14. No bicycles in the Pöstlingbergbahn: 800 signatures. Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, March 11, 2009, accessed on February 25, 2020 .
  15. ^ Railways - "100 years Pöstlingbergbahn" - special postage stamp. In: austria-lexikon.at. Retrieved December 18, 2010 .

Coordinates: 48 ° 18 ′ 40 ″  N , 14 ° 16 ′ 35 ″  E