February 04, 2011

Westbahn ponders Linz - Graz service

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AUSTRIA'S first open-access long-distance passenger operator Westbahn could soon launch services between the country's second and third largest cities after Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) withdrew its last through trains on the route.
Westbahn is negotiating with the government of Upper Austria over the details of a direct service between Linz and Graz. Local press reports suggest the plans offer four trains per day between the two cities with a journey time of 2h 40min.

westbahn.jpgÖBB drew criticism from provincial politicians in December when it scrapped the last remaining direct trains on the grounds that the services made annual losses of around Euros 4.9 million.

Westbahn will go head-to head with ÖBB from December with the launch its first service between Vienna and Salzburg. Seven stations will initially be served by 12 trains per day with a journey time of 2h 50 min, falling to 2h 30min when the new Vienna - Tullnerfeld - St Pölten line opens next year. It expects to carry around 5 million passengers in its first year of operation and make a profit within five years.

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