February 22, 2018

Austria backs broad-gauge extension to Vienna

Written by  Erwin Reidinger
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RZD CEO Oleg Belozerov and ÖBB CEO Andreas Matthä sign the cooperation agreement. RZD CEO Oleg Belozerov and ÖBB CEO Andreas Matthä sign the cooperation agreement.

PLANS to extend the 1520mm-gauge network from Kosice, Slovakia, to Vienna by building a €6.5bn 400km electrified freight-only line, have been revived. The line would improve access to Europe for traffic from Russia and the Far East.


The project has the backing of the recently-elected Austrian government, and the CEO of Russian Railways (RZD), Mr Oleg Belozerov, signed an agreement on cooperation in freight and passenger services with Mr Andreas Matthä, CEO of Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), at the Strategic Partnership 1520 conference held in Vienna on February 20-22.

Austria’s Ministry of Transport says that an environmental impact assessment will be carried out jointly with Slovakia, and the final planning phase will begin soon. This could enable construction to start in 2024, with opening of the line envisaged in 2033.

The transhipment terminal between broad and standard gauge is likely to be built near Parndorf, 40km east of Vienna.

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