Suburban line

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hütteldorf – Brigittenau
Route of the suburban line
Course book route (ÖBB) : 945
Route length: 14.905 km
Gauge : 1435 mm ( standard gauge )
Network category : A.
Route class : D4
Power system : 15 kV 16.7 Hz  ~
Maximum slope : 18 
Minimum radius : 186 m
Top speed: 100 km / h
Dual track : Vienna Penzing - Vienna Heiligenstadt
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Western Railway from Salzburg
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5.846 Vienna Hütteldorf (formerly Hütteldorf-Hacking)
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4.397 Baumgartenstrasse (until 1950, until April 30, 1939: Baumgarten )
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Connecting train from and to Vienna Meidling
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Vienna Penzing
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Westbahn to Vienna Westbahnhof
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0.860 Vienna Breitensee (May 1, 1939 to July 1951: Breitenseer Strasse)
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Breitenseer Tunnel (812.72 m)
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2,500 Vienna Ottakring
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3,850 Vienna Hernals
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5.150 HOA / FOA / SOA facility
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5,400 Vienna Gersthof (formerly train station)
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5.711 Üst Heiligenstadt 3
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Small Türkenschanz tunnel (244.68 m)
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Large Türkenschanz tunnel (704.56 m)
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6,850 Vienna Krottenbachstrasse
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7.450 Vienna Oberdöbling (formerly Vienna Ober-Döbling)
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Zehenthoftunnel (Unterdöblinger Tunnel) (71.10 m)
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8,415 Vienna Unter-Döbling (until July 11, 1932)
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Franz-Josefs-Bahn from Vienna Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof
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9,584 Vienna Heiligenstadt
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Franz-Josefs-Bahn to Gmünd N.Ö.
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Suburban line Danube Canal Bridge over the Danube Canal
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10.900 Brigittenau suburban train station
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11,352 Donauuferbahn from Vienna Nussdorf
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11.612 Vienna Brigittenau (formerly Brigittenau- Floridsdorf )
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Donauuferbahn to Winterhafenbrücke

The suburban line is a branch line in Vienna and runs from the Wien Hütteldorf station on the Westbahn via the Wien Heiligenstadt station on the Franz-Josefs-Bahn to the Brigittenau marshalling yard , where it joins the Danube bank . The route is operated by the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) and has been served by the S45 line of the Vienna S-Bahn since 1987 , which has been running to Vienna Handelskai since 1996 . In 2017, the S45 was assigned the color code light green, with the stations of the suburban line being supplemented by elements in this color.

The suburban line was originally part of the architect Otto Wagner architecturally designed and the kk Ministry of Railways for the Imperial State Railways built Wiener steam rail . A part of the protected today route also passes it to the otherwise mainly from the belt known railway arches .



With the construction of the Nordwestbahn and its terminus in Vienna from 1870 , a connection between the Nordwestbahn - Kaiserin-Elisabeth-Bahn - connecting line was ready for implementation. After completion, this project was supposed to form a link between the north-west, west and south train stations across the west of Vienna. In 1880 the MP Dr. Wilhelm Exner , who represented the communities on the later route in parliament, initiated the construction of the route.

However, the suburban line was not yet included in the early urban railway plans. This only changed in the course of the major city expansion to the east that was decided in 1890, when today's districts 11 to 19 were incorporated on January 1, 1892. They should now be taken into account right from the start when building light rail vehicles. Shortly before construction began, the planners added the so-called suburb line to the project , even if the suburbs that gave it its name now also all belonged directly to the city. On November 28, 1892, the commission for transport systems in Vienna, responsible for the city railway, even decided to start construction of the city railway with the suburban line in Heiligenstadt. In the original planning of 1892, the ten operating sites Penzing, Baumgarten, Ottakring, Schottenhof , Hernals, Weinhaus , Hohenwarth , Krottenbachstraße , Unter Döbling and Heiligenstadt were planned.


Seal of approval from the kk construction management for the suburb line and the - ultimately not realized - Danube city line
Barbara Chapel on Krottenbachstrasse

In the course of the detailed planning, the suburban line, which in places has the character of a mountain railway and required four tunnels, turned out to be the most difficult section of the light rail network, which is why its construction was postponed somewhat. Above all , the fine sands embedded in the Tegel turned out to be floating sands in the cuttings, and also in the case of the Great Türkenschanz tunnel , the rock pressure caused great difficulties when driving in the insufficiently drained Sarmatian sands. After Albert Gatnar had been appointed site manager for the suburban line on August 1, 1892, construction did not begin until December 1893, when the substructure work for the Heiligenstadt – Gersthof section was commissioned and started that same month. At the end of 1894, the Heiligenstadt – Hernals section was already under construction. The breakthrough of the Great Türkenschanz Tunnel finally took place in the summer of 1895. Miners from Italy came to Vienna especially to build the tunnel on the suburban line .

For the success of the three tunnels excavated by miners, the then city architect Peter Kraus, who had been allocated this section, donated a chapel in honor of St. Barbara , the patron saint , in Krottenbachstrasse, axis to Friedlgasse, near the northern portal of the Great Turkenschanz tunnel of miners. Its front was designed in the form of a tunnel portal, over whose keystone the Barbara statue was placed; the architecture of the building did not correspond to the Otto Wagner style. The wall paintings inside show the visit of Emperor Franz Joseph I during the construction of the tunnel. They were still preserved after the chapel was damaged by aerial bombs at the end of the Second World War, but the chapel was soon demolished.

Originally, the suburban line in Vienna Penzing was supposed to be connected to the inner city. As a result of a re-planning of the network, however, an additional 3.293 kilometer track had to be laid for the light rail between Penzing and Hütteldorf-Hacking, parallel to the existing Westbahn. Thus, the Hütteldorf-Hacking station took on the function of the node in the western part of the city, which was actually intended for the Penzing station. This additional track, which took over the kilometering of the Western Railway, did not belong to the Commission for Transport Systems in Vienna, but to the State Railway, which is why the extension to Hütteldorf-Hacking was not part of the narrower urban railway network.


The Breitensee stop shortly after its opening, initially with only one track and an incomplete reception building

Ultimately, the suburban line - originally classified as the main line - went into operation on May 11, 1898 between Penzing and Heiligenstadt as the first section of the light rail system. On June 1, 1898, it was then expanded into Brigittenau. Originally the entire line was single-track, although the subgrade for the second track was taken into account during construction. However, the bridge structures and reception building for the second track were still missing.

For many years the suburban line was more important for freight traffic than for passenger traffic. The intermediate stations Gersthof , Hernals and Ottakring had appropriate freight transport facilities, which is why they were classified as train stations and not as stops. This enabled the Wilhelminenspital to be supplied with coal, and further siding led to the companies Julius Meinl , Warchalowski , Österreichische Tabakregie and Manner , the latter crossing the tram tracks of line 48 in Sandleitengasse.

The train frequency, which was surprisingly high for the planners, caused operational difficulties from the start. Very soon more trains had to be run than the single-track operation allowed - with alternative options for freight trains with a length of up to 70 axles - without any problems. As early as October 24, 1898, the decision to expand between Penzing and Heiligenstadt was made, and the second track was opened to traffic on July 27, 1899. Before that, an additional track between Penzing and Hütteldorf-Hacking went into operation on June 30, 1899, which means that the section in question was henceforth four-track.

Accident on January 6, 1899

The tram accident of January 6, 1899

Just a few months after the opening occurred on the suburban line, a serious accident than to wake the locomotive 30.17 shortly after the exit from the station Heiligenstadt accidentally on a January 6, 1899 at 4:00 am of railway siding was headed. Then the train from Tulln to Hütteldorf-Hacking, made up of 85 empty freight wagons, ran over the buffer stop and crashed onto Gunoldstrasse, which was six to seven meters lower there. The engine driver suffered serious injuries and the stoker suffered minor injuries. Exactly this accident situation was repeated at the same place on February 20, 1928, again with no fatalities.

Low passenger frequency and attempts with steam railcars

With the exception of brief peak times, the steam light rail trains were only moderately busy, and there was particularly little demand for the suburban line, which only ran through a very loosely built-up area. In 1904, the then city bookkeeper Wilbheim reported that their trains in winter between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. were only occupied by an average of five to six and a maximum of 20 to 30 passengers. The train costs were 40 kroner per kilometer, which on the suburban line was often only offset by five to six kroner in income. This led to an annual outflow of 140,000 crowns. As early as 1902, the city of Vienna and the province of Lower Austria had to contribute proportionally to covering the deficit.

The state railway then checked temporarily whether two-axle steam railcars or so-called light locomotives would also be sufficient on the suburban line due to the low passenger numbers and the short trains - instead of the powerful but uneconomical class 30 light rail locomotives . In the months of August to October 1906, the steam powered railcar  1.1 from Maschinenfabrik Komarek, along with two others from the manufacturers De Dion-Bouton and Turgan, Foy et Cie , another from the Stoltz type and two locomotives of the  85 and 86 series , completed performance and economic tests on the route. The steam railcars had to pull one and the locomotives two light rail cars in addition.

After the First World War

In contrast to the rest of the steam light rail network, the suburban line remained in operation almost continuously during and after the First World War , albeit at times heavily thinned out. While there were still 50 trains running in both directions in 1917/1918, there were only 22 trains in 1919. It was not until 1920 that the frequency increased again to 42 trains, and by 1921 there were even 54 trains daily.

In contrast to the other routes of the so-called narrower network of the Vienna steam light rail , which the municipality of Vienna operated from 1925 as the Viennese electric light rail , the suburban line was not taken over at that time. It remained in the possession of the Commission for Transport Facilities in Vienna and was still used primarily for freight transport. On July 11, 1932, regular passenger traffic ended due to the economic recession, before the line came to the State Railroad on July 1, 1934 as a result of the dissolution of the Commission for Transport Systems in Vienna. From then on, this only served the route in passenger traffic sporadically in the form of the so-called bath trains, which ran between June and September from Hütteldorf via Heiligenstadt to Praterspitz on the Danube bank railway. They were also important for the Hohe Warte pool, which opened in 1927, and the congress pool, which opened in 1928 . The Ober-Döbling and Unter-Döbling stops were no longer served by these trains. Before the Second World War , the bath trains ran for the last time on August 27, 1939, after the removal of the second track had already started in 1936.

After the Second World War

The Breitensee stop that burned down in 1984, the second track is missing

In contrast to the electric light rail, the suburban line, which is located away from the important bomb targets, survived the Second World War largely unscathed. After the deficiencies in the maintenance of the train stations and the Breitensee stop had been corrected, from July 2, 1950, on weekends when the weather was nice, bath trains could again run from Penzing to Kritzendorf and St. Andrä-Wierter on the Franz-Josefs-Bahn. From July 15 of the same year, these began and ended in Hütteldorf-Hacking. The Ober-Döbling and Unter-Döbling stops still existed at that time, but their reactivation in bathing traffic was only planned for a later date. As early as the summer of 1951, however, the well-used bathing trains had to be stopped unexpectedly due to a lack of coal. The bath trains were hauled by steam locomotives of the 35 , 52 , 57 , 77 and 93 series , among other things .

In the years that followed, the line was only used for diversion and through freight traffic. After the cessation of steam operation, the freight trains were hauled by diesel locomotives of the series 2043 , 2143 , 2050 and 2067 . The reception buildings and platforms fell into disrepair, the Breitensee stop fell victim to a fire, and the buildings in Ober-Döbling and Unter-Döbling were demolished in the mid-1950s. The vernacular of the time therefore often referred to the route as a ghost train .

When the planning of the Viennese rapid transit network began in the late 1950s, it initially included the suburban line. But soon afterwards it fell victim to austerity measures. When the electrification of the railway lines in the Vienna region began, electrification of the line was immediately considered. However, since there was no interest in passenger traffic, it was to be prepared exclusively for freight traffic - as the last in Vienna to have only one track. The maintenance effort up to electrification was throttled, so that the entire suburban line was soon only passable at a maximum of 25 km / h. In order to carry out the electrification, the connection was closed to through traffic on June 1, 1975, only the service trip from Heiligenstadt to Ottakring remained.

Due to the collapse of the Reichsbrücke in the early morning hours of August 1, 1976 and the associated interruption of the Donauuferbahn , the closure of the suburban line had to be lifted on the same day at 5:00 p.m. Nevertheless, the condition of the infrastructure deteriorated increasingly, which led to a temporary ban on passenger trains on June 29, 1978. The transit goods traffic also ended again, on October 1, 1978 all three stations were converted into loading points .

Reactivation of passenger transport in 1987

Total renovation between Ottakring and Hernals, 1984
Opening special trains on May 30, 1987 at Hernals station

At the end of the 1970s, it turned out to be an advantage that no work had yet started on the route. Because due to the 1976 ausgelobten transport billion of the federal government, a large subsidy program to strengthen public transport, passenger transport has now suddenly a reactivation spoken. On April 30, 1979, the City of Vienna, the Austrian Federal Railways and the federal government decided to integrate the suburban line into the rapid transit network; This was not least due to the establishment of the Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region (VOR) in 1984 . It was renovated for this purpose, electrified with alternating current and expanded to double-track again.

Construction work began in May 1979, so that the Gersthof – Heiligenstadt section was temporarily shut down on July 30, 1979. The loading points and connecting railways were temporarily only served from Penzing. The construction work itself began in Heiligenstadt and was continued in the direction of Penzing, so that part of the route was always passable to serve the companies. On December 20, 1982, the new track position between Heiligenstadt and Ottakring could be driven so far that from this point in time the route could be operated from Heiligenstadt and the last section could be rehabilitated from Penzing.

In 1984 it was also decided to run the trains on the suburban line as originally to Hütteldorf. On October 31, 1985, the new central signal box in Hernals went into operation, which is remotely controlled from Heiligenstadt. At the same time, double-track operation with track changing operations and left-hand driving was started between the Türkenschanzpark junction and Hernals . The Penzing – Hernals section followed on August 7, 1986, but only provisionally. On this date, right-hand driving was introduced due to the cheaper transfer options in Penzing. With the final completion of the Penzing – Hernals section and the final commencement of track switching operations on April 8, 1987, as well as the completion of the Heiligenstadt – Türkenschanzpark branch and the commencement of track switching operations in this section on May 15, 1987, the entire suburb line will be switched over right track is the standard track.

On 31 May 1987, the new S45 initially took multiple units of the series 4020 , which is now largely on the series 4024 were replaced, operation in 30-minute clock on. The line number was created at the suggestion of the then ÖBB department ÖM, as it connects the S40 on the Franz-Josefs-Bahn and the S50 on the Westbahn. The stations Ober-Döbling and Breitensee as well as the originally non-existent stop Krottenbachstraße were rebuilt until 1987, while Unter-Döbling remained permanently open.

Development from 1987 until today

Logo of the S45

Since the extension of the S45 to the newly built S- and U-Bahn station Wien Handelskai in December 1996 and the opening of the north-western terminus of the U3 underground line right next to Ottakring station in 1998, the suburban line, which was originally only moderately frequented, has been transformed into a suburban line an important traffic artery with increasing numbers of passengers, which is why the frequency was reduced to 15 minutes in December 1998. As early as 2006, 13,000 passengers were counted every day. This tendency continued, so that in December 2007 there was a further compression to ten-minute intervals during rush hour . In 2011, more than 30,000 passengers were using the S45 every day, so in December 2012 the ten-minute cycle Monday through Friday was also introduced during the day. Since December 15, 2019, continuous night -time operation has been offered every 30 minutes on the nights before Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

The further extension of the S45 along the Danube , past the Reichsbrücke to the Wien Praterkai stop , was decided in 2014. A southern extension planned in the 1980s via the connecting railway towards Speising did not materialize; Demands to link the two lines with each other have become relevant again as part of the expansion of the connecting line.

Route description

A class 4024 railcar shortly before Ottakring station

The suburban line is laid out without crossing and designed for a top speed of 70 km / h and an axle pressure of 22.5 tons. It has to overcome several ridges and is therefore partly in the tunnel or in the cut and partly as an elevated railway . For example, it crosses the Türkenschanzpark (18th district) at a low altitude and leads next to the Karl-Marx-Hof (19th district) at a high altitude .

Because of its architectural design, it is often incorrectly called the Art Nouveau Railway, although of all Otto Wagner's railway buildings it is most closely committed to historicism and the suburb line was built in the "free Renaissance" style. Today's station buildings Breitensee and Oberdöbling are new buildings completed in 1987, analogous to Krottenbachstrasse, designed by the architects Alois Machatschek and Wilfried Schermann. Parts of the high stations, such as the entire east facade of the Gersthof station, were in such a desolate condition that they had to be removed and completely rebuilt. The Ottakring, Hernals and Gersthof stations have largely been preserved today in the original architecture by Otto Wagner.

Eight kilometers of the railway line are provided with retaining and lining walls in order to do justice to the hilly foothills of the Vienna Woods . 29 bridges and five viaducts span the railway line.



  • Erich Schlöss: The suburb line. An illustrated essay on the reopening on May 30, 1987. Prachner, Vienna 1987, ISBN 3-85367-047-4 .
  • Kurt Stimmer, Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region (Ed.): New Vienna suburb line S45. Vienna 1987, OBV .
  • Peter Wegenstein, Helmut Bogner (photo): The suburb line in Vienna. Bahn im Bild, Volume 58, ZDB -ID 52827-4 . Pospischil, Vienna 1987, OBV .

Web links

Commons : suburban line  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Suburb line ( memento from May 23, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) planned by Otto Wagner
  2. Volkswirthschaftliche Zeitung. (...) Connection of the Austrian Northwest Railway with the Empress Elisabeth Railway. In:  Das Vaterland , No. 217/1872 (XIIIth year), August 10, 1872, p. 3 (unpaginated), column 4 above. (Online at ANNO ). Template: ANNO / Maintenance / possibly.
  3. ^ A b Arthur Oelwein: The light rail. In: Vienna at the beginning of the XX. Century - a leader in a technical and artistic direction. published by the Austrian Association of Engineers and Architects, edited by engineer Paul Kortz Stadtbaurat, first volume, Vienna 1905, published by Gerlach & Wiedling, Vienna, pp. 110–122.
  4. ^ Roman Hans Gröger: The unfinished city railways: Viennese express transport projects from the files of the Austrian State Archives, Studienverlag Innsbruck, 2010, pp. 73–74
  5. Ing. Max Singer: The subsoil: Practical geology for architects, building contractors and engineers. Springer-Verlag Vienna, 1932, p. 267.
  6. ^ Journal of the Austrian Association of Engineers and Architects, year 1897, number 1, pp. 1–29.
  7. ^ Wiener Stadtbahn. In: Viktor von Röll (ed.): Encyclopedia of the Railway System . 2nd Edition. Volume 10: Transitional bridges - intermediate station . Urban & Schwarzenberg, Berlin / Vienna 1923, p.  396 ff.
  8. A story of two cities on, accessed on September 29, 2018
  9. ^ Hans Peter Pawlik, Josef Otto Slezak: Wagner's work for Vienna. Total work of art Stadtbahn (= International Archive for Locomotive History. Volume 44). Slezak, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-85416-185-9 , p. 116
  10. ^ Peter Wegenstein: Multi-track railway lines in Austria, 6th part. In: Eisenbahnverkehr aktuell, October 1991, p. 9
  11. a b New Vienna suburb line . Brochure on the recommissioning of the suburban line in 1987, published by the Austrian Federal Railways and the Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region, unpaginated, Vienna 1987.
  12. ^ Alfred Horn: 75 years of the Vienna light rail. "Between the 30s Bock and the Silver Arrow". Bohmann-Verlag, Vienna 1974, ISBN 3-7002-0415-9 , p. 56.
  13. ^ Döblinger extra sheet. (PDF; 10 MB), issue number 15, spring / summer 2017, accessed on November 22, 2017.
  14. ^ Alfred Horn: 75 years of the Vienna light rail. "Between the 30s Bock and the Silver Arrow". Bohmann-Verlag, Vienna 1974, ISBN 3-7002-0415-9 , p. 117.
  15. Soil Treasures & Building Jewels - No Talent with Otto Wagner , article by Werner Grotte in the Wiener Zeitung of July 21, 2005, online at, accessed on December 19, 2017
  16. a b c d e Peter Wegenstein, Helmut Bogner (photo): The suburb line in Vienna. Bahn im Bild, Volume 58, ZDB -ID 52827-4 . Pospischil, Vienna 1987.
  17. The Viennese suburb line: Almost forgotten, but indispensable , article from May 25, 2012 on, accessed on November 26, 2019
  18. The Ottakringers will also benefit from the U3. Suburban lines will run to Hütteldorf from 1987 . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna March 23, 1984, p. 8 ( - the open online archive - digitized).
  19. ^ Andreas Käfer and Herbert Peherstorfer (TRAFFIX Verkehrsplanung GmbH): S-Bahn in Vienna - an opportunity for the growing city . In: Stadtpunkte from August 2016, p. 7
  20. Urban Development Plan STEP2025, Mobility Concept, pp. 90–91.
  21. Urban Development Plan 1985, p. 37.
  22. ^ All parties in the municipal council for S-Bahn-Ring on, December 3, 2018, last accessed on February 28, 2020