A parade of historic trams on the streets of Moscow

Each year to mark the anniversary of the Moscow tramway system a parade of historic and modern trams heads through the city streets.


Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/Xinhua

The most recent event was held in April 2024 for the 125th anniversary of the system.

The Moscow tramway system, an integral part of the Russian capital’s public transport service offering, celebrated its 125th anniversary in style last weekend. The capital’s tram system, which has been in operation since 6 April 1899, celebrated this milestone with a series of events that paid tribute to its varied past and highlighted its current positive future prospects.

The festivities kicked off with a tramway parade along Lesnaya Street on Saturday 6 April 2024, featuring a diverse collection of trams from different eras. Beyond the parade, Tverskaya Zastava Square became the center of attraction, hosting an exhibition that showcased an impressive array of historical cars and vehicles, drawing enthusiasts and curious spectators alike.

From its inception, the Moscow tram has served as the cornerstone of the city’s urban rail transport system. Reflecting on a decade ago, the landscape was dominated by last-generation trams characterized by high floors and access through turnstiles at the first door, often mingling with car traffic and susceptible to delays from frequent road mishaps.

In a bold step forward, Moscow has since positioned itself at the forefront of tram network development and infrastructure across Russia. Since 2017, more than 500 state-of-the-art, Russian-manufactured trams have been introduced to the streets of Moscow, revolutionizing the urban transit experience with a remarkable 95% renewal rate of the fleet.

By 2030, the ambition is to further bolster the tram fleet with an additional 200 latest-generation, fully low-floor trams. Efforts to enhance the commuter experience continue unabated, with ongoing track upgrades to segregate tram lines from vehicular traffic and the installation of elevated platforms at stops.

The anniversary celebrations also featured the highly anticipated Tram Parade at Belorussky Station, attracting over 200,000 attendees. The growing fascination with tram parades and the increasing yearly turnout underscore the deep connective tissue between the Moscow tram system and its community.

And Associated Press covered the 2019 event.

Thousands of Muscovites turned up to take a trip down memory lane on 19 tram carriages from various historical eras.

The oldest tram on display had to be pulled by horses, the newest is still in operation. Horse trams are operated by a coachman and managed in a similar way to a coach. Driven by two or four horses such trams entered the transport system for the first time on 7 July 1872.

It was in the late 1980s and early 90s that Moscow Transport started collecting and restoring old trams for historical purposes. “We had to search for those carriages literally at some backyards, dachas, dumps. These carriages, their restoration is a result of big work, big money, big historical work,” says Gennadiy Narykov, from the Moscow Transport Museum.

Until this year tram parade was held once a year on 7 April, on the date of the launch of the first electric tram in 1899. However, the event became so popular with public that it was decided to hold it twice a year.

This tram, built in the early 1930s, was the first in the collection. Restored in 1987 it became a movie star after featuring on a few well-known Soviet films.

Including a video of the parade.

Further reading

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Birthday train parade on the Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro has a long history of serving the capital of Russia, so beginning in 2015 with the 80th anniversary of the official opening, an annual ‘train parade’ has been held to celebrate the history of the system.

Replica of the original 1934-vintage Moscow Metro train in service

An example of these parades was that held on 15 May 2022, which was captured by Amery Tverskoy.

The seven trains taking part in the parade were:

The parade included both modern and historic trains.

The Moscow Metro is a world leader in the rate of renewal of carriages. From 2011 to 2021, the metro received more than 3,700 new cars, due to which the share of modern trains increased more than five times – to 70 percent.

Over 87 years, more than 10 types of trains ran along the metro lines. Different generations of cars are a unique reflection of the history of the Moscow Metro. Therefore, since 2015, a train parade has been held annually in honor of the metro’s birthday.

On May 14 and 15, on the Circle Line, passengers will be able to travel on any of seven types of trains; they will run counterclockwise.

And a static exhibition of historic trains was also held.

On May 13, an exhibition of retro cars opened on the third track of the Partizanskaya metro station. Until May 16, passengers can see five historic carriages that ran on the subway from the 1940s until 2008.

The oldest one presented at the exhibition is a G-type carriage. They have been running on metro lines as part of trains since 1940. The car of this type had more rounded outlines compared to its predecessors – A and B. They were the first to be painted blue, which later became traditional for metro rolling stock.

At the exhibition you can also see a type D carriage. It was produced since 1955, it was lighter, and also had improved electronic equipment compared to type G. Passengers will also see a type E carriage, it is four tons lighter than its predecessor and has wider doors.

In addition, it will be possible to inspect two service cars. Among them is UM5, the oldest track-measuring car, and the contact-battery electric locomotive VEKA.

Further reading

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Retrofitting a junction for the Northern Line Extension

Retrofitting junctions onto existing underground railways – yes, I’m back on the same topic again! This month we stay in London, as we look at the Northern Line Extension.

The Northern Line Extension was first floated in 2010, as a privately funded extension of the Northern line to serve a urban renewal of the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station areas.

The £500 million project was given the go ahead in August 2014, with the 3.22 km long underground line branching from the Northern line at Kennington.

Construction started in 2015 using a pair of conventional tunnel boring machines, each digging a single track tunnel.

But there was one problem to be solved – joining into the existing London Underground tunnels at Kennington. The solution – a ‘step plate junction’.


OTB Engineering diagram

Where a new larger tunnel was constructed around the existing.


Photo via newcivilengineer.com

But with a modern twist – sprayed concrete was used for the initial tunnel lining rather than the more conventional timber strutting, and the larger tunnel diameter allowed the use of mechanised equipment.

Contracted by Flo J/V (Ferrovial Laing O’Rourke Joint Venture), OTB Engineering was responsible for developing the award winning step-plate junction design – an innovative solution combining century old technology with twenty first century knowhow which will future proof further tunnel expansions for TfL. OTB’s answer was to design a hybrid solution, combining both temporary and permanent works. In this way the team could ensure its solution was the most cost and risk efficient.

To give this challenge some context, the last time step-plate junction technology was employed by TfL was for the Jubilee Line in the mid 1990s. At that point the technology used was over a century old. OTB Engineering’s method developed for the Northern Line Extension is ground-breaking; it provides TfL with a proven means of enlarging any of its tunnels in the future (e.g. to provide a station platform or turnout).

Speeding up the tunnelling process.

Test trains were using the new line from July 2021, with the extension to Battersea Power Station opening to passengers on 20 September 2021.

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Retrofitting a new platform at Bank station

I’ve written many a blog posts about how metro systems have retrofitted new underground stations into existing operating railways, and this time we’re looking at Bank station on the London Underground.

Bank station forms part of the Bank-Monument station complex, constructed between 1884 and 1991, and served by five lines of the London Underground as well as the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).

Between 2003 and 2014 the number of passengers using the Bank–Monument station complex rose by over 50% to 337,000 per day, leading to congestion in the narrow interchange passageways and staircases between the multiple platforms that make up the station.

As a result, the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade Project was launched to build a new southbound platform for Northern line trains, convert the existing platform into an interchange passage, and provide new escalators to the Central line, DLR platforms, and the surface exits.

The tunnelling contract was awarded to Dragados in 2013, and work started in 2016. The first phase was uneventful.

The Dragados-led team finished the first phase of the project – the excavation, waterproofing and concrete lining of the new 1.5km long southbound running tunnel – in October 2020. During this phase, three new escalator shafts were excavated to link the Northern line to the DLR and to the new entrance. A new link tunnel to connect the Northern and Central lines was also excavated.

With pedestrian walkways ready to be connected into the current station.

But a sticking point was the tie in between new and old southbound running tunnels. A ‘step plate junction’ was considered, where trains could keep running while a large diameter tunnel was built around the existing one, but this was not possible due to the constrained site.

Unfortunately, the locations where the new running tunnel connects with the old do not permit the construction of step-plate junctions, which could have been built around the running tunnels with shorter closures.

The southern connection is close to the river and possibly in ground disturbed by the piles of the original London Bridge; this is the same situation encountered when the new southbound Northern Line platform was constructed at London Bridge station.

To the north, the junction will be beneath the junction of Lothbury, Princes Street, and Moorgate. At this point the Northern Line running tunnels are one above the other as they curve north into Moorgate, and there is insufficient room to build a step-plate tunnel.

And so a more disruptive method was chosen, which required a 17 week shutdown of the line in January 2022 to tie in the new to the old.

The second and more complicated phase got underway in January 2022 with the start of a 17 week “blockade”, during which Northern line services on the Bank branch between Moorgate and Kennington were suspended. Work carried out during this period, which ended in mid-May, involved connecting the new southbound Northern line tunnel to the existing southbound tunnel.

The north and south ends of the new running tunnel stopped about 1m away from the existing southbound Northern line running tunnel. As a result, tunnelling was needed to connect the ends of the new tunnel with the existing line. This involved creating a 55m long tunnel with sprayed concrete lining (SCL) for the south tie in and a 44m SCL tunnel for the northern one.

Dragados opted for the “plug and drive” method of tunnelling. To create the tie ins during the blockade, the team backfilled the existing but soon to be redundant southbound running tunnel with foam concrete. Then the team used a continuous mining tunnel excavator to mine through the London Clay and demolish the existing cast iron lined running tunnels and tie in the new section of tunnel with the existing one at each end of the station.

Once the tunnel connections were completed, Dragados constructed the trackbed and then installed the remaining 185m of track in the tunnels, in addition to the 490m that had already been laid before the closure. It then handed over to TfL so it could start testing and commissioning the signalling systems needed to bring trains into the new southbound platform.

The new Northern line southbound platform and concourse was opened in May 2022, with the new interchange passageways and escalators opening in the months to follow, with the project completed in February 2023.

The station now has 27 escalators, the most of any station on the London Underground.

Further reading

Behind the scenes at Bank tube station’s huge upgrade project at ianVisits.

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Dachnoye station on the Saint Petersburg Metro

I’ve written about above ground Metro lines and stations of the Moscow Metro, but Saint Petersburg also had one – Dachnoye station.


Postcard from 1968

The station opened on June 1, 1966 to serve the growing neighbourhoods beyond the existing Line 1 terminus at Avtovo, until a planned extension of the metro south to Leninisky Prospekt and Prospekt Veteranov could be completed.

Dachnoye was the only surface station ever constructed in Saint Petersburg, and was a utilitarian affair designed by architect Kseniya Afonskaya, with the platform and roof made out of precast concrete panels.


Photo via subway-spb.ru

Construction of the new station also cheap, with the 1.5 km extension utilising existing tracks that served the electric train depot at Avtovo.

The station tracks branching from those leading into the train sheds, leading into an island platform for terminating trains, which used a scissors crossover to depart.


Photo via subway-spb.ru

On 5 October 1977, the extension of Line 1 to Leninskiy Prospect and Prospect Veteranov was completed, and Dachnoye station was taken out of service. The station was then demolished, with the exception of a short section of platform, which has since been converted into local traffic police headquarters.

Footnote: other examples

On the Moscow Metro Pervomayskaya and Kaluzhskaya were temporary stations constructed inside a train depot itself, while the rest of the network has many ground level stations and sections of track.

Further reading

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Crazy tram junctions of Innsbruck

Innsbruck is one of many Austrian cities with tramways, but the network has one interesting feature – exceedingly complicated junctions.

Peerhofsiedlung terminus has a interleaved scissors crossover on a curve.


Google Street View

As does the terminus at Technik West, which combines a double track dead end with a single track stub.


Google Street View

The track lead to the depot at Duilestraße is another example of an asymmetrical interleaved curved scissors crossover.


Google Street View

While the track that forms the mainline connection swings from right to left using a curved crossover.


Google Street View

That makes the web of tracks leading to the older depot at Pastorstraße look relatively sensible.


Google Street View

But then there is the junction of Museumstrasse and Brunecker Strasse – a pair of doppelkreuzungsweiche (double crossovers) located in the middle of the street.


Google Street View

And this tangle of tram tracks outside Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof that don’t lead anywhere – the third leg is there for future network expansion.

So why are the tram tracks co complicated? My assumption is that 2000s upgrade of the legacy tram network into a modern light rail system were the driver.

The decision of the city authorities in 1999 to retain and expand the tram network triggered an ongoing programme of construction and renovation. This involved a certain amount of disruption during summer months because of extensive upgrade of track beds and tracks, involving much pouring of concrete.

Part of the strategy called for wider tramcars: new trams would be 2.4 m (94 in) wide. Hitherto, tram widths in Innsbruck had been restricted to 2.2 m (87 in). While the track gauge was unaffected, the loading gauge was not, so that twin tracks had to be farther apart and greater clearance was needed for buildings and street furniture. This necessitated the largest re-laying of track since 1911. Some of the depots were also to be renewed, rescaled, and brought up to date.

The new trams strategy was formally adopted by the Innsbruck City Council in September 2001. By 2004, the tram terminus in front of the main station had been reconstructed, with the terminus for the Stubai Valley Railway and other regional meter-gauge mountain railways. In 2005, work was completed on preparing the tracks in Andreas Hofer Street and Anich Street for the wider trams, and the first tram halts were adapted for use with low-floor trams so that, for the first time, passengers would be able to access new trams without having to negotiate one or more steps. The first low-floor tram was delivered on 17 October 2007.

At the end of 2007 the authorities issued the final version of their plan for the reconstruction of the city and regional tram and rail networks, and this was agreed by the city council at the start of 2008. In 2010, work began on tackling further upgrades on the lines at the heart of the old network, with new tracks at the interchange area around Brunecker Street and Museum Street. Brunecker Street again received a second usable track.

Further reading

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Zürich Selnau railway station under the River Sihl

I’ve written about a few different railway stations located under mountains, but this is something new – one located under a river!

The station is Zürich Selnau on the Zürich S-Bahn system in Switzerland, and has an underground platform located beneath the River Sihl.

With the station entrance emerging from the middle of the water.

Some history

The original Bahnhof Selnau was the above-ground terminal station for the Sihltalbahn, made up of the Uetliberg line which opened in 1875, and the Sihltal line which opened in 1892.


Photo via Ortsmuseum Wiedikon

However the terminus lacked a direct connection to the city’s main station of Zürich Hauptbahnhof, and the private railway operator could not afford to acquire a surface route or build an underground connection, and so the two railways were left disconnected.


Photo via Ortsmuseum Wiedikon

The construction of a U-Bahn system in Zurich was seen as a way to fix this, but after the project was voted down in 1973, the Zurich City Planning Office began studying options to extend the Sihltalbahn to form part of an expanded S-Bahn system.

And in 1983 a decision was finally made – an underground extension along the River Stil, reusing an unused underground platform already built at Zürich Hauptbahnhof for the rejected U-Bahn scheme.


Photo from Swiss Engineer and Architect No. 18, May 2, 1991


Photo from Swiss Engineer and Architect No. 18, May 2, 1991

Swiss Engineer and Architect No. 18 describing the selected route:

The extension of the SZU
The long-awaited connection Selnau-Hauptbahnhof
By R. Theo Balz

Overview of the new line:

The new route begins on the western side edge of the former and now disused Zurich-Selnau train station. In a covered steep ramp the route reaches a 5% incline to the level of the new Selnau station under the Sihl bed between the Stauffacher and Sihl bridges.

The double track railway line continues underneath the Sihlbett on the right edge of the river to the Gessner Bridge and leads then over a tight curve in two single-lane tubes under the pedestrian level of Zurich Hauptbahnhof. The new route is a total of 1592 meters.

The Selnau underground station replaced the previous Selnau terminus. The central platform is accessible from the Stauffacher and Sihl bridges.

Concerns about drainage:

Sihl floods as well as the urban planning aspects had to guide this solution.

Based on model tests on the Research Institute for Hydraulic Engineering, Hydrology and Glaciology from ETH Zurich, it could be proven that a staircase 5.35 m wide through the drainage profile of the Sihl directly onto the Sihlbrücke is possible without significantly hindering the flood flow.

Work started in March 1986, and by 1987 work on the new underground railway was well underway.


Photo from Swiss Engineer and Architect No. 18, May 2, 1991

Sheet pile walls separated the excavation pit from the rest of the river during construction. To reduce the cost of construction, it was decided that these walls would not be unnecessarily high, but that the construction site would be allowed to floor if the river rose – a scenario which happened once during the project, without causing any major damage.

Other innovate design features included the use of ballastless track laid on on spring-loaded concrete slabs to minimise noise and vibration transmission to nearby buildings; and low-maintenance solid conductor bars for the supply of overhead power to trains.

On 4 May 1990 original terminus at Selnau was closed, when the new rail extension and station under the River Stil was opened, which now form lines S4 and S10 of the Zürich S-Bahn.

Today the site of the original terminus at Selnau is a housing estate, with the original station building built in 1892 having been demolished.

Footnote: a literal ‘underground’ music festival

By the autumn of 1988 the concrete shell of the new Selnau station had been completed, and so it was used as the venue for a two day folk festival.


Swiss Social Archives photo F 5107-Na-31-109-005

Temporary stairs proving access to the platform.


Swiss Social Archives photo F 5107-Na-31-108-031

Where a beer hall had been set up.


Swiss Social Archives photo F 5107-Na-31-108-011

Sources

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Underground trams in Vienna

Like many cities the Austrian capital of Vienna has both a Straßenbahn (tram) system alongside their underground U-Bahn rail system, but it also has something in between – the untergrundstrassenbahn or “underground tramways”.

E2 tram 4047 and trailer arrives into the underground tram stop

Under the beltway

The first section of Vienna’s underground tramways is located under the southern beltway – Wiener Gürtel Straße. The 3.4 kilometer long tunnel opened in 1969, and has six underground stations used by four tram lines and the Wiener Lokalbahn service.

Wiener Lokalbahnen GT8 tram 118 heads for Wien Oper station

There are also two underground at-grade junctions.

E2 tram 4059 and trailer passes through the junction at Matzleinsdorfer Platz

A full triangular junction at Matzleinsdorfer Platz, and a branching junction at Kliebergasse.

Converted to U-Bahn

In 1966 the tramway along Zweierlinie between between the Secession Building and Landesgerichtsstrasse north of Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz was relocated into a 1.8 km long tunnel with four underground stations.

It it then decided to incorporate this tunnel into U-Bahn line U2, with the conversion completed over two months in 1980. The most visible change was the raising of the platforms.

Staggered platforms at Volkstheatre station on line U2

To allow metro trains to use the stations.

Staggered platforms at Rathaus station on line U2

And underground tram stops

At Schottentor is the ‘Jonas- Reindl’ – a two level tramway terminus loop, with above and below ground tram tracks.

And Erzherzog-Karl-Straße railway station is located atop an underground tram stop.

Footnote: signalling

Rather than driving on sight like a conventional tramway, block signals have been installed in the tunnels.

Germany-language Wikipedia explaining how the lineside signals work:

Fluorescent tubes are installed every 20 meters on each side, offset from one another. These help drivers estimate distances as there is a light every ten meters.

Block signals are used with two green and two yellow light points arranged one below the other using light-emitting diodes, which show the driver the status of the next two track sections. Shortly before the stations, the distance between the individual signals is smaller to enable faster entry into the station.

The track vacancy notification is carried out by track circuits. If the following two sections are clear, two green lanterns light up and the driver is allowed to drive at the local maximum speed. If the first section is free and the following section is occupied, a green and a yellow light point will light up and the speed must be reduced to 30 km/h. However, if the first section is occupied, both yellow lamps light up, regardless of the status of the section after that. This means that you can continue driving at 15 km/h.

As well as the junction signals.

An expanded system is used at the Matzleinsdorfer Platz and Kliebergasse junctions. As soon as a train enters the station, the desired direction is sent to the system; as confirmation, a white arrow appears in the corresponding direction on the stop signal. Now it is automatically checked whether the track sections to be traveled on are free. If this is the case, the switches are changed and secured if necessary, then the signal goes into the driving position and the driver is allowed to continue driving.

Sources

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Car vs steam train on the streets of Germany

The other day on Twitter I found a video of an odd scene – a steam train driving along a narrow street, then crashing into a Mercedes Benz after the driver decided to pull out from the curb.

After a bit of digging around I found the the video was originally posted over at /r/IdiotsInCars on Reddit, who supplied an article to this (paywalled) article in the German newspaper Ostsee-Zeitung.


Ostsee-Zeitun photo

The photo was taken in Bad Doberan, a city in northern Germany, and the railway in question is the Molli Bahn – a 900 mm gauge steam railway.

Which runs through the middle of Bad Doberan.

The railway stretching 15.4 km from Bad Doberan to Heiligendamm and Kühlungsborn West, with a running time of 40 minutes

The history of the railway can be found over at Wikipedia:

On 19 June 1886, Frederick Francis III, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg granted a licence for the construction and operation of a narrow gauge railway from Doberan station to Heiligendamm, this first section going into operation on 9 July 1886. Services on the 6.61-kilometre (4.11 mi)-long route, which was worked by a steam tram and later classified as a light railway or Kleinbahn, initially only ran during the summer season from 1 May to 30 September.

On 18 December 1908, it was decided to extend the line as far as the Baltic seaside resort of Arendsee, which was merged in 1938 with the neighbouring communities of Brunshaupten and Fulgen to form the Baltic Sea resort of Kühlungsborn (Ostseebad Kühlungsborn). This extension was opened on 12 May 1910, in the same year, goods services were started; and trains now ran all year round.

The transhipment of goods from the Wismar–Rostock standard gauge line to the narrow gauge railway proved to be costly and unprofitable. The carriage of standard gauge wagons on narrow gauge transporter wagons as was common, for example, on the Saxon narrow gauge railways, was ruled out from the outset because of the narrow urban section through Bad Doberan. Thus, on 31 May 1969, goods services were withdrawn.

The route was worked daily by 13 pairs of trains. In 1976, the then district of Rostock added the train to the district’s list of heritage monuments. On 1 October 1995, an operating company, consisting of Bad Doberan district and the towns of Kühlungsborn and Bad Doberan, took over the line from the Deutsche Bahn.

Today the public-private company, operating under the name of Mecklenburgische Bäderbahn Molli (Mecklenburg Seaside Resort Railway Molli) is based in Bad Doberan. The terminus of Kühlungsborn West is home to the Molli Museum and the depot.

Footnote: more crashes

It appears Germany has quite the supply of stupid motorists, if this article from Ostsee-Zeitung is anything to go by.


Ostsee-Zeitung photo

Further viewing

A video by @TheTimTraveller on YouTube on the Molli Bahn.

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ÖBB switching from left to right hand running across Austria

Trains switching between left and right hand running has been a theme on this blog for some time, and here is one example I’d missed – Austria.

ÖBB Class 1116 'EuroSprinter' electric locomotive 1116 029 on a short freight train in Vienna

When I visited Austria I only found trains running on the right hand side, but thanks to German-language Wikipedia I’ve learnt that some lines run some trains on the left.

During the Danube monarchy there was quite a bit of confusion regarding the driving regulations as a result of construction by different companies each having their own driving regulations. In the course of the annexation to the German Reich in 1938, the right-hand traffic regulations were introduced in Austria, but this project got stuck in the Second World War.

After the war, the Federal Railways in Vienna and Villach drove on the left, and in the Federal Railways in Linz and Innsbruck they drove on the right, which meant that Westbahn trains stopped at Amstetten station changed from driving on the left to driving on the right. Since in Tyrol there was also left-hand operation between Wörgl and Brenner for historical reasons, all trains in Wörgl main station and the Arlberg trains in Innsbruck main station had to change the regular track. In the meantime, regular operation on the left only existed between Innsbruck and Brenner. In 1993 the Wörgl – Brenner route was converted to right-hand traffic.

But a big switch to right hand running occurred in 2012 with the opening of Wien Hauptbahnhof.

German-language newspaper ‘Die Presse’ describing the changeover.

ÖBB are switching to right-hand traffic in the east
August 6, 2012
Klemens Patek

The opening of Wien Hauptbahnhof casts its shadow: today the southern, northern and S-Bahn lines are switching to right-hand traffic. The trains will then arrive on different platforms than before.

Anyone expecting the usual North, South and S-Bahn trains at the usual platform from August 6 will miss it. Because this Monday, the railway lines mentioned will be switched from left-hand traffic to right-hand traffic. The trains thus depart from a different track, mostly from the previously different direction track.

The reason for the change is the new Vienna Central Station and the Lainzer Tunnel. Because this connection of the right-hand Western and Eastern Railway and the left-hand Southern and Northern Railway would have lost track capacity. Trains would have to cross tracks before entering the station, which would make handling the trains more difficult. If everything drives on the right, the ÖBB can create practical transfer options on the same platform and save track capacity. ÖBB emphasizes that if the trains were only partially driven on the right as before, the main station would lose around 30 percent of its capacity.

Specifically, the following routes will be converted to right-hand traffic:

– Nordbahn from Vienna Floridsdorf to Bernhardsthal
– S7 ( Airport Expressway ) from Vienna Rennweg to Vienna Schwechat Airport
– Pottendorf Line from Wampersdorf to Wr. New town Civitas Nova
– Southern Railway from Vienna Central Station to Payerbach Reichenau
– Connecting railway from Vienna Hütteldorf to Vienna Meidling
– S-Bahn trunk line from Vienna Meidling to Vienna Floridsdorf
– Northwest Railway from Vienna Floridsdorf to Stockerau
– Laaer Ostbahn from Vienna Süßenbrunn to Wolkersdorf

Detailing criticism of the change.

According to ÖBB, the costs for the change amount to a total of around 16 million euros. Of this, 13.2 million euros go to laying new tracks (“overtaking tracks”) in the Brunn-Maria Enzersdorf and Baden train stations. A measure “that would definitely have come about,” explains Ofner. The immediate renovations to the platforms, such as new waiting bunks and signage, will cost 2.7 million euros.

Ofner rejects criticism of the change: “It would have cost a lot more if we hadn’t made the change.” A three-digit million sum would have been due for conversions to overpass structures. These would make it possible to change lanes through bridges or underpasses without trains having to cross a track.

Critics like to refer to a report from the consulting firm Basler+Partner commissioned by ÖBB. The study came to the conclusion in December 2008 that the negative effects of maintaining the current driving regulations would be “less in scope and number than if there were uniform right-hand traffic,” as the experts wrote (Die Presse reported ). The experts therefore recommended “maintaining the driving regulations as they are today”.

However, this study is being misinterpreted, says ÖBB spokesman Ofner, it was “not made for the future”. The planning assumes that far more trains would use the route near the main station in the future than was taken into account at the time, Ofner points out possible route conflicts at Vienna Central Station.

They also sections of route that had previously switched sides.

For the most part, traffic has been switched to right-hand traffic as part of necessary modernization work, such as renovations or new construction projects. This was last the case in 1991, when the section between Wien Westbahnhof and Amstetten was switched to driving on the right.

And sections of left hand running still in place in Austria.

Three sections will continue to operate in left-hand traffic after August 6:

– Vienna Central Station – Stadlau – Süßenbrunn (conversion to right-hand traffic is planned for 2015)
– Franz-Josefs-Bahn (according to ÖBB, a change is still uncertain at the moment)
– Southern Railway from Payerbach-Reichenau via Bruck an der Mur and Graz to Maribor. In Payerbach-Reichenau, the Southern Railway trains continue to have to change tracks.

With Wikipedia picking up on progress since.

On December 13, 2015, the Vienna Central Station – Vienna Süßenbrunn section was converted to right-hand traffic.

The southern railway section between Payerbach-Reichenau and Bruck an der Mur followed on December 15, 2019.

Thus, regular operation on the left track currently only exists on the Vienna Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof – Absdorf-Hippersdorf and Bruck an der Mur – Werndorf routes.

Leaving one last route to capture ÖBB trains running on the left hand track.

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