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BREAKING: ÖBB Invests EUR 1.2 billion in the Efficient and Modern Railway Infrastructure

BREAKING: ÖBB Invests EUR 1.2 billion in the Efficient and Modern Railway Infrastructure
photo: Wegscheider / ÖBB/ÖBB Invests EUR 1.2 billion in the Efficient and Modern Railway Infrastructure
06 / 01 / 2023

With a record-breaking investment of 1.2 billion euros in the eastern region alone, ÖBB is continuing its expansion and investment programme in 2023. In addition to the maintenance and modernisation of the railway facilities, the main focus is on further growth because the awareness for climate protection and the offer of the climate ticket also increase the enthusiasm for rail travel.

"We have great leverage in transport in the fight against the climate crisis. With an attractive public transport offer, we want to inspire even more people to use public transport. And people in Austria also want to travel in a climate-friendly way, especially if it is comfortable, easy and cheap. With the current investment programme in the rail infrastructure in the entire eastern region, we are doing just that. From the expansion of the connecting railway in Vienna to the electrification of regional railways, public transport will be better everywhere next year," says Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler.

"As Austria's largest mobility provider, we are also consistently expanding the domestic railway infrastructure in 2023. The ÖBB construction programme, amounting to 19 billion euros until 2028, is not only of extraordinary importance in terms of climate protection but also has a stabilising and activating effect on the domestic economy in times of multiple crises. With major line extensions, as well as many smaller and larger modernisation works, ÖBB ultimately ensures an increasingly attractive public transport offer. One of the focal points is the eastern region, where important connections for commuters are being completed, such as the double-track expansion of the Pottendorf line. All of this makes ÖBB a stable partner for the economy and transport revolution of tomorrow. It's all thanks to the federal government, which has managed to secure this construction programme financially despite difficult times," says ÖBB CEO Andreas Matthä.

Milestones along the southern line

Especially along the southern line, major milestones will be reached in 2023: The double-track extension of the Pottendorfer Linie will enter its final phase in the Vienna area and between Münchendorf and Wampersdorf. The completion of both sections, including the opening of the newly built Ebreichsdorf station, is planned for autumn.

ÖBB / studiobaff

In 2023, the environmental impact assessment for the Ebenfurth loop construction is underway. It is a first, important step towards making rail travel between Eisenstadt and Vienna competitive with the car. In Wiener Neustadt, the opening of the new parking deck with around 1,300 parking spaces is planned for September, and the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Wiener Neustadt Civitas Nova station will also take place in autumn. At the Semmering Railway, reinvestment work is entering the next round. The reinvestment work on the Semmering Railway is entering the next round. The extensive renovation of the Kalte Rinne Viaduct, a listed building, is underway.

Also, along the most important north-south connection in the eastern region, work on the Semmering Base Tunnel, and the extension of the Northern Railway is progressing rapidly. While the modernisation of the Vienna Süßenbrunn station and the construction of the subway for the L6 state road in Deutsch-Wagram will be completed in 2023, work will start on the modernisation of the Helmahof station.

For the four-track extension Meidling-Mödling, planning is progressing in 2023, and the submission for the environmental impact assessment is planned for the 2nd quarter. The extension will create the conditions for a 5-minute S-Bahn frequency, as well as additional fast local transport connections between Vienna Meidling and Vienna Liesing. Between Vienna Liesing and Mödling, a 10-minute interval of the S-Bahn will be possible. In spring, the current planning status will be presented to the public at information events along the project route.

Work along the western line

Along the western line, investments in an efficient railway network are continuing: work on the Tullnerbach-Pressbaum station, which is the prerequisite for an even better local transport service in the catchment area of Vienna, is progressing. In Maria Anzbach, work is starting on the construction of a footpath and cycle path alongside the railway as a vital prerequisite for the construction of the new Maria Anzbach station.

ÖBB / studiobaff

The modernisation of the Gramatneusiedl railway station is entering the main reconstruction phase. Due to the construction work, the station will only have limited barrier-free access until 2024. In the meantime, planning for the environmental impact assessment of the Flughafenspange, a high-capacity route from Vienna Schwechat Airport to the east, continues. In the future, this will provide fast and direct train connections between Vienna and Bruck an der Leitha and, thus, improvements for commuters. The planning status can be viewed at public information events in 2023. The project is expected to be submitted for an environmental impact assessment in the second quarter of 2023.

Priorities in Vienna

In Vienna, construction work to make the connecting railway more attractive is scheduled to start in autumn 2023. With additional stops and a denser frequency on the S80, an attractive west-east connection across the city will be created. Specifically: from Vienna Hütteldorf via Vienna Meidling and the central railway station to the Urban Lakeside Aspern. Due to the connection with all five Vienna underground lines, the city centre can also be reached quickly. New stops with covered bicycle parking spaces, transfer possibilities to long-distance and regional trains, underground, tram and bus, as well as the denser intervals at 15-minute intervals, enable an attractive public transport offer with short journey times. Regardless, bridge timbers and tracks on the Hietzinger Kai and Hackinger Straße bridges will be renewed in April.

On the Vienna S-Bahn main line between Vienna Meidling and Vienna Floridsdorf, initial preparatory work is also being carried out for quality assurance to ensure long-term reliability in the overall system for customers from Vienna and Lower Austria.

Focus on regional railways

A huge wave of modernisation is imminent along the regional railways. For example, on the Nordwestbahn between Stockerau and Retz, work will start in 2023 on several station modernisations and platform extensions. On the Kamptalbahn, the start of the modernisation of the entire line is scheduled for 2023. Planning for the modernisation and electrification of the Traisental and Erlauftalbahn will continue in 2023. Electrification and upgrading are also planned for the Mattersburg railway. In 2023, the planning status will be presented to the population for the first time.

More barrier-free access systems for Park&Ride facilities

To make the switch from car to train as easy as possible, the new barrier-free access system to Park&Ride facilities will also be rolled out further. Automatic number plate recognition, combined with a ticket scanner at the exit column, ensures that the users of the parking spaces have a valid public transport ticket. It means that the parking spaces are available to commuters. 

New opportunities for vacant spaces

In addition to the investments in the framework plan, ÖBB will continue to assume its responsibility as the owner of large inner-city sites in 2023, which play a crucial role in urban development. The merging of freight stations or terminals and the modernisation of railway operations will free up large areas in the eastern region. In coordination with the municipalities, these areas can be put to new use. In Vienna, for example, completely new city districts are being created at the New Estate and the former North Railway Station near Vienna Central Station and Praterstern Station. Also, in the former Nordwestbahnhof area, a completely new district with flats, generous green spaces, and educational facilities will be built in the next few years.

ÖBB plays a pioneering role in sustainability and climate-friendly mobility 

With the investments made, ÖBB is a vital driving force for achieving the climate goals in our country. Moreover, ÖBB plays a crucial role in terms of sustainability and climate-friendly mobility. Numerous new photovoltaic plants will provide environmentally friendly solar power in the future. In the eastern region, for example, in Baden, Tullnerfeld and Vienna. By 2030, an additional 277 GWh of electricity is to be produced annually from renewable energy sources in the region's generation plants.

ÖBB Treusch architecture - ZoomVP

Housing for ÖBB employees - modern and affordable

In the new year, ÖBB will continue to create modern, affordable housing for existing and new employees. The ÖBB housing programme aims to renovate the residential buildings and flats owned by ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG to modern standards over the next few years. This refurbishment will be financed by no longer needed selling buildings and land. In the eastern region, for example, residential buildings in Bruckneudorf, Korneuburg, St. Pölten and in Vienna in Mayerhofgasse and Geiselbergstraße are currently being renovated or will soon be completed. It is a response to the recurring trend towards employee housing, as affordable and modern housing near the working environment is an increasingly important argument in the search for new employees.

Crucial line closures in 2023

ÖBB is currently implementing the largest expansion and renovation programme in its history. At the same time, the approximately 5,000 kilometres of railway network must be continuously maintained so that trains can continue to run safely and on time. However, some work cannot be carried out while the railway is in operation. Therefore, several measures along the lines are bundled to implement them quickly and in a targeted manner and to keep disruptions for passengers as low as possible. Passengers will then benefit from a fitter rail network, more seats, and more and faster connections.

Source: ÖBB Press Releases