Need For Speed

News | Vienna Review | December 2008 / January 2009

he ÖBB’s new high-speed train, traveling up to 230 km/hour (Photo: ÖBB/Spirit Design)

In the midst of the financial crisis, the ÖBB (The Austrian National Railroad) will unleash its €618 million high-speed train, the "Railjet."  While some critics find the timing unwise in view of the financial crisis, the effects of the project, so far, have been nothing if not helpful.

For one thing, over 150 workers are needed to assemble the train in the ÖBB Technical Facilities in Vienna’s 11th District – staving off layoffs.

"Without this contract, we would have had to cut several people," said the technical service manager Franz Seiser.

When the "jet" hits the tracks on Dec. 14, long-distance trains will make fewer stops, delivering travelers to their end terminus much more quickly – by as much as 20%. Business trips will also be more pleasurable, the railroad promises, citing electronic seats, bright transition halls between the wagons, and increased accessibility.

The first connection will be between Budapest, Vienna, and Munich.  As of 2010, Bregenz and Zurich will join the line-up.  By 2012, when the tracks are completed, with a possible speed of 230km/h, trips from Vienna to Salzburg will be cut by 30 minutes, leaving a trip of just over two hours.

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