Austria’s Rail Plan to Reduce Travel Time Between Munich & Vienna From 4 to 2.5 Hours

Austria is set to expand its rail network over the next 16 years, adding dozens of new routes and connections in an effort to make train travel even more attractive by 2040.

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According to Euronews, the new rail network plan can have the travel time between Vienna and Munich shortened by one and a half hours, while it currently is around four hours, reports.

The target network 2040 is our vision of what a modern rail system in our country could look like. It is a rail network for a climate-neutral Austria in which climate protection and good mobility go hand in hand. The design is full of bold ideas, new connections, and even better railway lines. 

Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler

The 2024 network plan from the government and rail operator OBB is still in its planning phases and will be open to the public before it is completed this year.

The plan for Austria’s rail covers 67 projects in 25 areas – including a new double-track line in Bavaria and Upper Austria, which is expected to reduce travel time between Vienna and Munich significantly.

In the next 16 years, the plan expects that passenger trains will travel a total of 255 million kilometres per year, which is one and a half times more than they currently do. The cost of the draft measures adds up to around €26 billion.

The new line through Upper Austria and Bavaria is one of the main projects included in the 2040 network. This New Innkreisbahn (NIB) route, which is also covered from the German side, can reduce the travel time between Vienna and Munich from four to two and a half hours. The shorter travel time could apply to destinations that are farther away, such as Paris.

Vienna’s local transport services are also expected to expand further, including a line between Vienna Heiligenstadt and Vienna Praterkai. In addition, the expansion of railway lines in the Bregenz area will significantly improve the local transport in the entire Rhine Valley.

This would not be the first initiative that the country has regarding the improvement of travel, as three years ago, it launched a ‘Klimaticket,’ an affordable ticket that covered all means of public transport and that was highly acclaimed by Greenpeace.

A new generation of night trains to Germany, introduced last year, was the second attempt, while last year, a campaign that targeted young people with tattoo offers was initiated.

Leonore Gewesseler, Green MP and Austria’s climate minister promoted the deal at the Frequency Festival in the town of St Pölten last year.

Those who get ‘climate ticket’ tattooed win the annual ticket that can be used on almost all public transport in Austria, allowing people to travel throughout the country for just €3 a day with concessions available for young people, seniors, and people with disabilities.