The Mariazell Railroad - 7

The Mariazell railroad documentation would not be complete, without presenting some impressions of winter operation. In order to eliminate that gap, I undertook further photo journeys to the Mariazell line in January 2004.

Close to St. Poelten city the snow pack was rather poor. The more one came closer to Mariazell, the more the landscape got really winter like, with a lot of snow.

Weather conditions were fine too, so no more objections against a successful photo tour were given.

The above title image shows a part of the Annaberg station. The rail track is cleaned of snow and at the station area at both sides of the only operational track, additional snow cleaned space for passengers is prepared. Compared with the buffer stop in the back, the snow pack seems to be about ½ meter. Scroll down please!

This line presentation consists of 7 parts:
Part 1 and Part 2 gives impression of the uphill drive from St. Poelten to Mariazell.
Part 3
and Part 4 change direction and guide back from Mariazell home to St. Poelten.
Part 5 collects additional impressions from and around the line and Part 6 is dedicated to steam operated special events.
Part 7 finally gives impressions of winter operation.

Some locations which in reality are rather hidden, may here easily be visited by the interested rail fan.

I wish you a lot of fun! - and of course feedback of site visitors welcome!

  Close before Obergrafendorf when approaching from St. Poelten the line track follows a totally straight line. Using the compressed tele sniper reproduction, it was able to combine the train and the full line view together on one shot.  

This is the Klangen station. Klangen is located about 3,5 km behind Obergrafendorf when travelling to Mariazell. Like powder sugar, one may call the snow layer status.

  A small hut for waiting passengers is all, which is visible at the Kammerhof station. A weak winter sun is illuminating the scenery. Around this station, the hilly section of the line starts. (top of page)  
  On the further travel to Mariazell the train has to pass the Hofstetten station. After departing from the station, the train will in a few moments cross the bridge visible in the foreground. At this location in former times a railroad crossing with the highway was existing. In 1998 the line was reconstructed to today's track.  
  At the upper image border one may recognize sunshine. Though it is already 11:16 am the valley floor lays in deep winter shadow. Our train this moment passes the Pielach river bridge which is located close to the Steinklamm station. In a few meters, the line will cross the highway.  
  Close to the Loich station the rail track uses the eastern valley slope when proceeding uphill the Pielach valley. Here we already see a compact snow pack. Next train stop will be at the Schwarzenbach station. (top of page)  
  The valley section starting at Weissenburg required a lot of effort from the constructors. Several tunnels had to be installed in order to pass a number of rocks. The Schoenau tunnel with subsequent Pielach bridge is one of these tunnels. It is a standard shot of the Mariazell Railway.  
  Our train has reached the Frankenfels city region. Where the Pielach and the Nattersbach valley meet, the rail track again has changed to the western valley slope. The snow cap on the signal plate confirms, that this distant signal was not used since longer times.  
  10°C below zero is the actual temperature at the valley floor. The steam vents in the background are sign, that most citizens here fire with wood and coal. Also the ice crystals which are covering the plants are signs of the deep temperatures. The Boding station will be the next train stop. (top of page)  
  Facing that, one may already speak of a really winter landscape. While the Laubenbachmühle station in the back lays in deep winter shadow, I could catch the train the moment it passed the small sunny stripe. This is the starting point of the real ramp section which is divided into 3 subsections, all connected via hair pin curves.  

This shot you will already know from part 2. Because of several winter attributes like snow crystals at the catenary construction, it is even more attractive in winter than in summer, I find. This place is located at the middle of the middle ramp, ramps which climb up to Puchenstuben and finally to the Goesing tunnel.

  This is already the Annaberg station, which is located at the line section opposite of the Goesing tunnel. Only one track is cleaned for operation. This is a sign, that here no scheduled train crossings take place. The shown train approaches from Mariazell. (top of page)  
  Once again the Annaberg station, this time a view to the opposite direction. In the background left the line track is visible, which will continue to the Saugraben with its significant viaduct. The train from St. Poelten is approaching the Annaberg station area.  
  On its further journey to Mariazell our train now passes a deep snow pack and will in a few minutes reach the Wienerbruck station. In the background left, the Oetscher mountain peak is visible between the trees. It's a bit like a model railway.  

This train from Mariazell is approaching the Erlaufklause station. The mountain in the back is called Gemeindealpe, it is a part of the local skiing areas. Behind the Erlaufklause station, the Erlaufklaus tunnel chains on. The area behind this tunnel is difficult and dangerous to enter in winter when the snow pack is mighty. (top of page)

  This open view location is passed on the further way to the Kuhgraben. It is the only location I know, where the line may be taken together with the Oetscher mountain in the background. A summer shot of this location you may know from part 2.  
  The Mitterbach station is the last of the line before the terminus at Mariazell is approached. The station has some idyllic atmosphere at the first impression. But in reality, all buildings are more or less empty today and the only advantage is to use the roof as shelter in case of rain.  
  This is at the Mariazell station already. In order to prepare the train compositions for the run back to St. Poelten a few shunting activity is required. After trains have approached Mariazell, their locos perform all shunting runs. 1099.02 in the back pushes 1099.16 to the required position.
(top of page)

After all shunting operations have been finished, both compositions are ready for the home run. The afternoon sun illuminates the scenery. As only loco of the 1099 class, the 1099.02 has a grey painted framework, the former OeBB logo and solid numbers made of brass.

Navigation: Rail world select - Mariazell Line: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6
Last Update: December 2004 - send me an email
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