- Location: From Gloggnitz to Murzzuschlag on Vienna (Austria) — Trieste (Italy) route
- Attraction Type: Heritage train journey
- Significance: A UNESCO World Heritage railway route
- Best Time to Visit: May to October
- Visiting Hours: Daytime
- How to Reach: From Vienna
- Nearest International Airport: Vienna International Airport
Semmering Railway Journey between Gloggnitz in Lower Austria and Murzzuschlag in Styria commenced in 1854. The Semmering Railway at 898 meters above sea level was the highest public railway track till 1860. The route length of about 26 miles climbs through 439 meters, with the highest point at Semmering. With 16 viaducts and 15 tunnels, the journey through Alpine slopes in this route is unmistakably fantastic.
Construction of Semmering Railway in Austria was commenced in 1848 under the guidance of engineer Carl Ritter von Ghega, a Doctor in Mathematics. During the construction phase, an accident in 1850 claimed 14 lives, while 750 deaths from typhoid and cholera were reported between 1850 and 1852. A trial journey was undertaken in October 1853 ultimately followed by its first passenger journey in July 1854.
Electrification of this route began in 1956 and in May 1959 the first electric engine traveled through Semmering. A journey duration of about 2 hours in 1860 has come down to 42 min as of now. Significance
Austrian Semmering Railway as compared to other heritage railways in Europe is the best-preserved and exists in its original state.
The 26-mile journey is truly picturesque. Of these 26 miles, the tunnels extend to almost three miles and the viaducts measure up to a mile. The track lined with fifty-five two-story buildings, thirty-two wooden signal boxes and stone station buildings is a route out of storybooks. The winding precipitous track carved along the Alpine slopes without the help of explosives is unimaginable.
The viaduct across Kalte Rinne is particularly aesthetic with the Polleroswand Tower as its backdrop. In fact, this viaduct is so impressive that it is represented in currency notes, and postage stamps. The stretch along the foothills of Kalten and Kreuzberg is amongst the most romantic in Europe. Continuous change in the mountainous landscape has been the primary attraction of the Semmering Railway journey.
Related Links :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rReWlSI3oH0: Check out the picturesque landscape of the places through which the Semmering Rail travels in this beautiful traveler’s video! You will be tempted to be there in person.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-4LPqkK5N4&feature=related: Check out wonderful views of the Semmering Railway tours, including the picturesque Austrian landscape and the viaducts, in this fantastic clip. Check it out!