Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lokalbahn Mixnitz-St. Erhardt

Another video, and some great evidence for the premise behind the Körschtalbahn, that narrow gauge railways can effectively transport goods and people. Longer suffering readers will know this is a regular theme for this blog, and the line looks a lot like the imaginary KÖB, even down to the track gauge and electrification. The commentary is in (Austrian) German, but it’s worth watching for the pictures, and I can give a rough idea of the history of the line and current status thanks to Wikipedia Germany .

The 760mm gauge 800v DC line is in the state of Steiermark in southeast Austria. There used to be passenger services but they were withdrawn on the 31st of July 1966. The Steiermark government railways, (You'll hear more about them sometime) and run the remaining section from the Austrian federal railways (ÖBB) system at Mixnitz-Bärenschützklamm to the magnesite works in Breitenau. It seems the line has a future: After major flooding in August 2005, it was rebuilt by mid-October, and the stations in the video are recently reinstated, mostly for charter trains.

All of which is good news, but what if the investment could be extended to high-capacity bogie wagons which could move at more than 20kmh, and modern, low floor coaching stock similar to the standard gauge ‘Desiro’ seen at the start of the video?

Is this a dream, or an eco-friendly rural transport solution for the future?

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