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Snow, ice, and low temperatures won't surprise the ÖBB.

Snow, ice, and low temperatures won't surprise the ÖBB.
photo: ÖBB/Snow, ice, and low temperatures won't surprise the ÖBB.
01 / 12 / 2021

As the temperatures continuously drop, the Austrian company ÖBB continues preparation for the upcoming winter backed by 5,000 employees. The process includes preparing over 10,000 point heating systems inside and 2 x 1,000 HP high-performance snow blowers to resist ice, frost, and eventual snow.

The company has been utilizing an innovative high-performance snow blower since last winter, which enables the company to react even better to extreme weather conditions.

The new work device with a rotating frame concept has 2 x 1,000 HP (drive and sling drive), weighs 77 tons, has four axes, and reaches a clearing capacity of up to 15,000 tons/hour. The snowblower can be turned and approaches a speed of up to 100km/h. The firm has two more of these snowblowers prepared to be able to deal with possible demand.

Much like every year, ÖBB pays close attention to obstacles related to the winter season by reactivating their tech equipment.

The preparations include, for example, checking the heating points and the readiness of the snow clearing machines.

The ÖBB secures the maintenance of More than 55 km of avalanche and rockfall protection for their propriety for wintertime in the West region (Tyrol and Vorarlberg) alone.

The ÖBB winter services will be available all season long across all regions of Austria.

Over 1,000 kilometers of track and 130 train stations and stops in the Tyrol and Vorarlberg regions got secured by approximately 400 employees. ÖBB invests about 40 million euros annually in winter service across Austria.

Over 5000 shift employees guarantee smooth rail operations in track and switch areas as well as the platforms.

One of the major topics of the winter season is Avalanche barriers, rockfall protection nets, and torrent barriers.

Investing in barriers is considered as prevention instead of trying to battle natural disasters directly. Across Austria, the ÖBB supervises around 190,000 linear meters of rockfall and avalanche barriers (in Tyrol and Vorarlberg about 55,000 linear meters), monitors 3,900 hectares of rocky areas (in Tyrol around Vorarlberg 1,100 hectares) and approximately 2,800 hectares of protective forests (in Tyrol and Vorarlberg 1,000 hectares) farmed.


Here are some interesting facts and numbers regarding ÖBB's winter maintenance practices:

ÖBB invest around 40 million euros annually in winter service

5,000 employees work across Austria (up to 400 employees in Tyrol and Vorarlberg)

More than 1,000 train stations and stops get cleared of ice and snow (in Tyrol and Vorarlberg, there are 130 train stations and stops)

Of around 13,400 points throughout Austria, over 10,300 are equipped with point heating (in Tyrol and Vorarlberg around 1,400 of over 1,500 points can be heated)

197 km of avalanche and rockfall protection are checked for their suitability for winter throughout Austria in summer and autumn (55 km in Tyrol and Vorarlberg)

3,900 hectares of rock get monitored (Tyrol and Vorarlberg 1,100 hectares)

2,800 hectares of protective forests are managed (Tyrol and Vorarlberg 1,000 hectares)