Wiener Neustädter Lokomotivfabrik

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Perspective of the Wiener Neustädter Lokomotivfabrik in the 1860s; the portal at the bottom right 
Carolinenthal of the Imperial and Royal Northern State Railway , factory no. 4/1842
Csingervölgy in Ajka - Csingervölgy , factory no . 3438/1890

The Wiener Neustädter Lokomotivfabrik in Wiener Neustadt , Lower Austria, was the largest locomotive and machine factory in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy . During the Second World War , the site was home to the Rax works , which manufactured armaments and, among other things, a branch of the Mauthausen concentration camp ( Serbenhalle ).


The railway line Wiener Neustadt - Vienna was opened as early as 1841 , in 1842 the k. k. priv. Vienna-Raaber-Eisenbahn to Gloggnitz and in 1854 the Semmering was reached.

So it did not take long before Austria recognized the opportunity offered by the now so much accelerated construction of railways for locomotive production.

The Wiener Neustädter Lokomotivfabrik was founded with a partnership agreement dated February 28, 1842, concluded between Carl von Prevenhueber, the son-in-law and authorized representative of the Krieglach ironworks owner Josef Seßler , on the one hand, and Wenzel Günther , previously an engineer at the kk priv. Wien-Raaber-Eisenbahngesellschaft, and the machine masters of this company, Heinrich Bühler and Fidelius Armbruster, on the other hand.

Since the area offered for this in the northeast of Wiener Neustadt was partly on an abandoned cotton wool factory and partly on an old gun and metal grinding shop, the term loop for the site of the locomotive factory was later used . The model for the first six steam locomotives was a machine bought in 1838 by the Vienna-Gloggnitz Railway Company in America.

In 1845 the articles of association were dissolved and Wenzel Günther became the sole owner. In 1850/51 the company took part in a state competition to design a locomotive for the Semmering Railway and was able to win second prize with the “Wr.-Neustadt” machine. On August 5, 1853, Günther was granted state factory authorization: the factory, which already employed 280 workers, was allowed to call itself the kk priv. Locomotiv & Maschinen-Fabrik Wiener Neustadt . In 1858 the management of the factory came to the Österreichische Credit-Anstalt für Handel und Gewerbe , which carried out significant technical innovations. In 1860 the plant was leased to the Viennese machine factory owner Georg Sigl and finally sold to him in 1861. He expanded the plant into the largest machine factory in the monarchy. In 1870 the 1,000th locomotive was built and the workforce numbered almost 3,000. In 1870 Sigl acquired building land on the other side of Pottendorfer Strasse and built new buildings there. In addition to locomotives, the product range also included boilers, printing presses and other machines that were exported worldwide.

As a result of the stock market crash of 1873 , the orders of the tracks were made, and the locomotive works had on the company Schoeller & Co. sold and soon after into a corporation, the shares Society of Locomotive Factory formerly G. Sigl be converted, also attended the state administration was involved to a third.

The Wiener Neustädter Lokomotivfabrik also played an early role in the Austrian labor movement . In the course of the March Revolution in 1848, the 10-hour day was introduced by and for the workers, but this was withdrawn from them again in the course of the counter-revolution . In 1865 the first Austrian workers' association was founded in the Wiener Neustädter Lokomotivfabrik.

To the north of the new buildings from 1870, additional factories were built between 1907 and 1912. The old factory building was shut down, structurally adapted as a barracks and occupied by the Bosnian-Herzegovinian infantry regiment number 1 from March 1910 to March 1912. Initially the 4th Battalion moved in, then the 2nd Battalion. During the First World War , the old plant served both as a barracks and as a prisoner-of-war camp. 

Portal of the former factory today (Franz-Fehringer-Weg), location

The tornado of July 10, 1916 destroyed most of the old plant. The Wiener Neustadt national preservation society restored with the help of students from the Technical College between 1974 and 1977 that as Triumphal Arch trained, built around 1860 Portal of the old plant. Today it is listed and dedicated to the Austrian labor movement.

After the First World War , when the Crown Lands broke away, production was severely restricted and the workforce was reduced to a few hundred men.

With the onset of the Great Depression , the overcapacity of the now four Austrian locomotive factories for the small domestic market were obvious, and so came in 1930 the end for the now to the Group of the Austrian Credit-Anstalt belonging stocks Society of Locomotive Factory formerly G. Sigl . - As a branch of the Wiener Lokomotivfabrik Floridsdorf , the plant was soon reopened.

After the annexation of Austria , the German group Henschel & Sohn took over the facilities and the factory. In order to increase the production of the locomotives as much as possible, the plant was greatly expanded.

On May 5, 1942, the former locomotive factory operated under the code name Rax-Werk Ges.mbH. From 1943, parts of the A4 (V2) rockets were also built here. The facilities were completely destroyed in air raids in 1945.


  • CS: To complete the 4,000th locomotive in the locomotive factory, vorm. G. Sigl, in Wr.-Neustadt . In: Paul Kortz (Red.): Journal of the Austrian Association of Engineers and Architects . Volume 49.1897, issue 47. Austrian Association of Engineers and Architects, Vienna 1897, ZDB -ID 2534647-7 , p. 637. - Full text online (PDF; 13.2 MB) .
  • Actien-Gesellschaft der Lokomotiv-Fabrik formerly G. Sigl in Wiener-Neustadt: memorandum for the completion of the 5000th locomotive . Beck, Vienna 1910, OBV .
  • Karl Flanner : From the club settlement to Josefstadt. The history of the first workers' building cooperative in 1869. Gutenberg publishing house, Wiener Neustadt 1979, OBV .
  • Rudolf F. Marwan-Schlosser : Makeshift Quarters. (...) The locomotive factory . In: -: barracks, soldiers, events. Barracks and military facilities in Wiener Neustadt, Bad Fischau, Wöllersdorf, Katzelsdorf, Felixdorf-Grossmittel-Blumau . Weilburg-Verlag, Wiener Neustadt 1983, ISBN 3-900100-09-8 , p. 84 f.
  • Sylvia Hahn: Factory regulations. On the conditions of industrial work and job-specific awareness using the example of the Wiener Neustädter Lokomotivfabrik and the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft 1890–1914 . Dissertation, University of Vienna, Vienna 1984, OBV .
  • Manfred Wehdorn , Ute Georgeacopol-Winischhofer: Architectural monuments of technology and industry in Austria . Volume 1: Vienna, Lower Austria, Burgenland. Böhlau, Vienna 1984, ISBN 3-205-07202-2 , p. 252 f. - Full text online .
  • Franz Pinczolits: The steam locomotive. History of the Wiener Neustädter Lokomotivfabrik 1842–1930 . (Collaboration with Herbert Groll). Weilburg Verlag, Wiener Neustadt 1987, ISBN 3-900100-56-X .
  • Bernhard Schmeiser: Locomotive lists Wiener Neustadt. 1842-1929 . Emphasis. Slezak, Vienna 1992, ISBN 3-85416-158-1 .
  • Gerhard Geissl: From the locomotive factory to Rax-Werke GmbH (1842–1965). From the past of a large Wiener Neustadt company . Documentation of the "Industrieviertel Museum" Wiener Neustadt, Volume 112, ZDB -ID 2290769-5 . Association Museum and Archive for Work and Industry in the district under the Vienna Woods, Wiener Neustadt 2008, OBV .
  • Gerhard Geissl: Georg Sigl and the Wiener Neustädter Lokomotivfabrik. Beginnings, high points and decline of a large company . Documentation of the “Industrial District Museum” Wiener Neustadt, Volume 128, ZDB-ID 2290769-5. Association Museum and Archive for Work and Industry in the district under the Vienna Woods, Wiener Neustadt 2008, OBV .
  • Sándor Tóth, Attila Kirchner, György Villányi: Georg Sigl's locomotive factories in Vienna and Wiener Neustadt ., Vienna 2016, ISBN 978-3-9503304-6-5 .
  • Peter Zumpf , Richard Heinersdorff: Lokomotivfabrik Wiener Neustadt . Album, Verlag für Photographie Helfried Seemann and Christian Lunzer OEG, Vienna 2008, ISBN 978-3-85164-151-6 .

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Wehdorn: Baudenkmäler , p. 252.
  2. a b C. S .: To complete the 4,000th locomotive .
  3. Marwan-Schlosser: Makeshift Quarters. (...) The locomotive factory , p. 84.


  1. In the picture on the right, the factory premises are immediately bounded by the branching out Warmen Fischa ; crossing in the background: the Wiener Neustädter Canal .

Coordinates: 47 ° 49 ′ 26 ″  N , 16 ° 15 ′ 0 ″  E