Vienna Direct

Vienna Trains

Vienna TrainsVienna's mainline train service has long been a headache for city planners and rail travellers alike, with a frequent lack of direct services through the city forcing some travellers to change from rail to tram and back to rail again.

The city and the rail service have planned major changes to the access points which will, eventually, make main-line train and regional services more accessible and sensible.

Like most major cities, Vienna has the main-line stations used by all services and a selection of smaller regional stations used by the regional service, which is known as the S-Bahn. The Vienna Underground train services are known as the U-Bahn.

Thus a big station may have three different services: the main rail service, the regional rail service and the city underground trains. They will also be connected into the bus and tram services.

Changes and Renovations

Vienna's train system is currently undergoing major construction work to reorganise the rather chaotic rail connections to and through the city.

This changes some of the main access stations for travellers coming into the city as well as some of the regional S-Bahn services.

Éssentially, most of the old Südbahnhof (the southern terminal in the city) has been closed (from December 2009) and the new main railway station is being built in its place. The Südbahnhof was originally the access point for those coming from the south and east, especially from Eastern Europe.

  • Trains from the south and some from the east, which used to use the Südbahnhof, are now being directed to Vienna Meidling (Philadelphiabücke). This includes connections to Styria and Carinthia, as well as Slovenia. Those travelling to Hungary normally have the option of Vienna Meidling or the Hauptbahnhof.
  • Trains from the Czech Republic use Wiener Neustadt (with connections to Vienna) or Vienna Meidling.
  • Trains from Bratislava and the rest of Slovakia now use the restricted Hauptbahnhof. These services and the regional S-Bahn services using the Hauptbahnhof are accessible via a completely new entrance (in the Schweizergarten).
  • Trains to and from most western countries and the west of Austria continue to travel through the Westbahnhof which is unaffected by these changes.

Connections from the Westbahnhof to Vienna Meidling are via the U-Bahn. There are S-Bahn services between Vienna Meidling and the new Hauptbahnhof, which can also be reached via the U-Bahn.

Vienna Main Station

The reason for all of this construction and confusion is the construction of the new Vienna Main railway station, which is opened partially in 2012 and is scheduled to be completely finished in 2015. This long-awaited project is designed to be a through station so that trains from Innsbruck or Munich, for example, can travel directly through Vienna to the east.

The new Vienna Main Station (Hauptbahnhof) will be a modern transport centre designed to create a whole new city district around the current Südbahnhof area. More than 100 shops are planned for the City Bahnhof development as well as new residential development around the main station.

S-Bahn

The S-Bahn is the regional service for Vienna and the surrounding districts (the "S" stands for "schnell" - "quick" in German). There are ten different main lines (there are a few smaller lines as well) and nearly 150 stations served by the local network (which is still run by the main Austria train operator, the ÖBB). Many of the services run on different lines to the main train service.

Main-line train tickets which involve crossing the city and all Vienna public transport tickets are also valid for use on the S-Bahn.

Map

With the map of Vienna below, you can zoom in or out or move in all directions by using the controls to the left. And the buttons on the top right switch between a traditional map view, a satellite view and a mixture of the two.

Train Service Resources

Main Austrian Railways: www.oebb.at
New Vienna Main Station: www.hauptbahnhof-wien.at

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