Railfan’s guide to Vienna, Austria

My visit to Vienna was stop number two on my trip across Europe, and only lasted a day and a bit, so I didn’t get much time to look around the city. None the less, here are a few suggested places for a railfan to visit, starting with the well known Wiener Riesenrad.

Wiener Riesenrad viewed from the park

From the top of the hundred year old Ferris Wheel, you can look down on the S-Bahn commuter trains that pass through Wein Praterstern (Vienna Praterstern Station).

Double decked CityShuttle 'Wiesel' train operated by ÖBB departs the station with the loco on the rear

After riding on the wheel, the station itself is only a short walk away.

ÖBB Class 4020 EMU 4020 291 arrives at Wein Praterstern station

And outside Wein Praterstern is a tram terminus.

E1 tram 4506 and trailer wait for passengers at a tram stop

Next stop is the mostly underground U-Bahn network that runs across the city.

Type 'V' train on line U3 arrives into Westbahnhof station

Powered by the third rail like most European metros, the network has a 1970s feel.

Crowds at Westbahnhof station on the Vienna U-Bahn

The odd one out on the U-Bahn is line U6, which utilises rolling stock somewhere between a train and a tram. These 12-carriage long consists run along a former steam railway line, and are powered by overhead wires.

Somewhere between a train and a tram: 12-carriage long U-Bahn train at Handelskai station on U6

Another oddity in Vienna is the underground tramway system to the south side of the city centre. The station of Matzleinsdorfer Platz is a good place to inspect the system, where a three way junction is located between the platforms.

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

As well as being used by the Wiener Straßenbahn, light rail vehicles from the 30.4 km long ‘Lokalbahn Wien-Baden’ system also use the tunnel to access the city.

Wiener Lokalbahnen GT8 tram 118 heads for Wien Oper station

The final place I visited was the Danube River, where a freight only railway follows the western bank. When I was there I lucky enough for a short freight train to trundle past.

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

Followed by a train headed the other direction, laden with a company of Leopard 2 main battle tanks.

Tail end of the train load of Austrian Leopard 2 main battle tanks

Google Map

Here is a Google Map showing the locations I pointed out above:

View Railfanning in Vienna, Austria in a larger map

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