Victor von Röll

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Victor Freiherr von Röll (born May 22, 1852 in Chernivtsi ; † October 12, 1922 in Vienna ) was an Austrian lawyer and civil servant in the Imperial and Royal Railway Ministry and editor of the 10-volume encyclopedia of railways (1912-1923).


Victor von Röll was born in Chernivtsi in the crown land of Bukovina . His parents were Albertine Röll and the state building authority director Anton Röll. After attending the Schottengymnasium in Vienna , he studied law at the University of Vienna , where he received his doctorate in law.

For the next two years he worked as a legal intern at various Viennese authorities and also gave lectures on commercial law and exchange law at the Vienna University of Commerce . Victor von Röll married on May 22, 1875 and later became the father of five children.

In 1876 Victor von Röll moved to the Kaiserin-Elisabeth-Bahn , which was nationalized in 1884 , where he worked in the legal department. In the following years was involved in the nationalization of private railways and in reforms in the transport and traffic system. He soon took a leading position in the Association of German Railway Administrations (VDEV), which also included Austrian railway administrations, especially the Imperial and Royal State Railways . In 1886, as a state railway official in the Imperial and Royal Ministry of Commerce, he initiated the establishment of the Historical Museum of the Austrian State Railways (today the Austrian Railway Museum ), which he headed until 1890. In 1893 he was involved in the conclusion of the Bern Convention on Rail Freight Traffic in Bern .

In 1893 he was a board member in Bureau 4f (fd Transport and Reelamatinsdienst) of the specialist department for transport services in the K. k. General management of the Austrian State Railways from January 1, 1990 with service class IV .

In 1896 he moved to the newly created Imperial and Royal Railway Ministry. In the (third) cabinet of Prime Minister Paul Gautsch Freiherr von Frankenthurn , he was (interim) head of the Imperial and Royal Railway Ministry on November 3, 1911, from June 28 until the removal of the entire ministry (of the entire government) requested by Gautsch from the Kaiser . In the published letter of removal from the emperor to Gautsch (since Röll was only head, no personal letter was sent to him, as was the case with the removed ministers), Röll was granted the (hereditary) baron tax-free . In 1912 he received the Commander's Cross of the Leopold Order when he left civil service as a civil servant . After his retirement he was a member and also chairman of the board of directors of various railway companies and other companies.

Encyclopedia of Railways

Closely related to his name is the encyclopedia of railways . This work, overseen by him as editor , gives a comprehensive overview of all areas of the railway system of the time. It deals with the establishment and financing of railways, the construction, the signaling and safety systems, the operating systems, railway law and the history and geography of railways worldwide. It also offers biographies of people associated with the railway industry.

Röll worked for newspapers and academic journals and edited a collection of decisions on railway law. He had the idea early on to publish the knowledge he had gathered in the field of railways in the form of an encyclopedia. In 1885, Röll approached the railway pioneer Edmund Heusinger von Waldegg with his idea . However, he died the following year and an agreement with a publishing bookstore could not be concluded. Finally, between 1890 and 1895, Röll managed to publish the seven-volume “Encyclopedia of the Entire Railway System in Alphabetical Order” at the Viennese bookstore Carl Gerold's Sohn , which soon became a standard work on the railway sector. In September 1908 he began preparations for a second edition of the encyclopedia. This project was supported by the publishing bookstore Urban & Schwarzenberg , Berlin and Vienna, which had meanwhile acquired the rights to the encyclopedia. In 1912 the second edition of the work began to be published. Originally eight volumes with 10 deliveries each were planned. Each delivery was originally supposed to cost 1.60 marks , a bound volume 18.50 marks. It turned out, however, that the additions were so large that the scope had to be expanded to ten volumes. Due to the First World War , the work with the tenth volume could not be completed until 1923. Victor Freiherr von Röll died before the completion of his life's work.


  • Encyclopedia of the entire railway system in alphabetical order , 1890–1895 in 7 volumes, Carl Gerold's Sohn publishing house, Vienna.
  • Encyclopedia of Railways . Second, completely revised edition 1912–1923 in 10 volumes, Urban & Schwarzenberg Verlag, Berlin / Vienna. 2nd edition 1912–1923.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Self-published by KK Österreichische Staatsbahnen: Almanac for the personnel of the KK Österreichische Staatsbahnen per 1893 . Vienna, page 227
  2. see also The Austrian State Railways since the existence of the Railway Ministry, 1896-1908.
  3. ^ Official daily newspaper Wiener Zeitung , Vienna, No. 253, November 4, 1911, p. 1
  4. Announcement of the publication. In: Eisenbahndirektion Mainz (ed.): Official Journal of the Royal Prussian and Grand Ducal Hessian Railway Directorate in Mainz of February 17, 1912, No. 8. Announcement No. 98, p. 48.