Work will be carried out over 18 months between August 2020 and spring 2022 during normal maintenance breaks, with no additional shutdowns expected to be required.

The upgrades will include:

  • a new 5500m2 maintenance hall with two elevated tracks
  • a catering building, and
  • two service tracks in the area of ​​an existing storage group.

The new facilities will include movable roof work platforms including integrated cranes, a bogie drop system, track bridges for exchanging individual wheelsets, disposal systems on all tracks, a high voltage testing system, a train preheating system and locomotive work stations with 15kV contact line system and crane.

ÖBB’s plans for the Simmering site are part of a broader €225m investment programme at its Austrian maintenance sites.

The new maintenance facilities will provide a base for ÖBB’s Nightjet fleet where all maintenance will be carried out. The Simmering depot already services 25 Railjet trains and 130 long-distance passenger coaches.

The improvements will also support the expansion of ÖBB’s Nightjet service, which ÖBB says will cover 20 routes from December with the introduction of its new Amsterdam service.

The news follows the purchase of 13 new seven-car Nightjet trains planned for delivery in 2022, as part of a framework agreement with Siemens from August 2018. The trains will be used to expand Nightjet services to Italy. An option for a further 20 Nightjet trains worth €500m was exercised in August, for delivery in 2024.

“Vienna is already the city with the most night train connections in the EU,” says Ms Leonore Gewessler, federal minister for climate protection. “We will continue to expand this pioneering role over the next few years.”