Semmering Anniversary

At the Semmering station a monument is honouring 'Carl Ritter von Ghega', the genius architect of the Semmering railroad (detail see left).

In 1869, that was 15 years after finishing the construction works and 9 years after Ghega's funeral, it was donated. The laudation came from Freiherr von Engerth (locomotive constructor).

The track constructions started in 1848 and were finished in 1854 successfully. On May 15th 1854

freight through traffic was started, and on July 17th also passenger transportation. There was a lot of discussion before the construction works started, if such mountain line based on regular railroad technology would work at all.

As a serious alternative a cable operated line using a direct track path was proposed at that time.

On May 16th 2004 the first event with regard to 150 years Semmering railway took place.

This day two special trains were in operation on the mountain. Firstly a historical composition headed by the steam engine class 52.4984 supported by class 1020.47 and secondly a modern train headed by the brand new loco Taurus 1116.200 plus fitting carriages. Because the real 1116.200 was not ready on time, the loco originally foreseen for the number 1116.193 was dedicated to be 1116.200.

  The steam train stops at the Baden railway station on its way from Vienna to the Semmering mountain. A second train - the modern one - was on the way a little bit later in order to take part in several celebrations along the mountain line (5/2004).
  For a second time I can take a picture of the steam composition when passing the Saint Egyden station, located in the middle of the so called Neunkirchner Alle. The old-timer loco class 1020.47 is additionally clutched to the train for ramp support. Weather conditions are rainy (5/2004).
  Between the Gloggnitz and the Payerbach station a parallel drive of the two trains was scheduled. This shot was taken close behind the Schloeglmuehl station. The modern train with engine 1116.200 is just visible shadowy, due to steam exhaust (5/2004). (top of page)

Next Stop was at Payerbach Reichenau. The modern train departs after several politicians delivered their address to the public. The steam train had a longer stop scheduled and meanwhile the machinist executes several necessary system checks (5/2004).


The scheduled stop of the steam train made it possible to look for an impressive photo location for uphill steam shots. I decided to do it close behind the Gamperl tunnel. These three photographs are transferred to the black and white mode as a reminiscence to the old times (5/2004).

  At the Breitenstein station a next celebration stop was scheduled. I took this opportunity to look for another dynamic photo location. I decided to try it when the train is passing the Kalte Rinne viaduct. Though the wrong track was used, most drive unit details are visible properly (5/2004). (top of page)
  At the Semmering station both trains meet again. Here as well as in all other celebration stations a lot of activity took place. Of course catering with local specialities was included too (5/2004).
  For the anniversary the Ghega monument located at the Semmering station was done up and renovated (5/2004).
  Also some acts remembering historic situations were organized. In the background the Ghega monument (5/2004). (top of page)
  At 4:00 pm both trains depart the Semmering station in parallel. This parallel drive shall continue till Muerzzuschlag station. From this view for the first time a bit more of the special 1116.200 design is visible (5/2004).

This day weather conditions changed like usual in April. Exactly when the two trains appeared after passing the Spital station, a thick cloud darkens the scenery. But fortunately the order of trains is okay for this shot. Some close distance later, the 1116.200 would have been on the front position (5/2004).

  Close before entering the Muerzzuschlag area, the sun is shining again. The special design of the 1116.200 is result of some pupil's competition with regard to the 150 years Semmering anniversary. Two girls were the winners (5/2004). (top of page)
  Adjacent to the Muerzzuschlag station, an old round house with fitting turntable is existing still. This day it is used again after a long period of sleeping. Both locos of the two special trains get presented to the public here. The 52.4984 starts and it is raining again (5/2004).
  A few minutes later rain stopped and the loco is turned several times to give opportunity to all for picture taking. The moderator explained details regarding steam engine operation. Left the round house is visible (5/2004).
  After plentiful presentation of the steam loco, the actual counterpart enters the table. Class 1116 actually is the latest electrically operated loco design in Austria and it is ordered by other rail operators too. 1116.200 is the third engine with special design of this family. Others are 1016.023 (Kyoto) and 1116.100 (Licht ins Dunkel) (5/2004). (top of page)
  Also this engine is turned several times. For my photo, I wait for a position where the light pole in the foreground has minor disturbance impact (5/2004).
  After several turns, the engine is parked in the round house for a while. For a short moment the sun interrupts the shadowy situation and I can release this shot. A representative of the model company Roco presented an 1:87 early version of 1116.200 and proposed its soon release (5/2004).
  Later most of the visitors have already left the area and I can take some shots without crowds of people. 1116.200 presents on both heads the name 'Carl Ritter von Ghega', the 150 years logo and the text: ... our Semmering (5/2004). (top of page)
  I can take this shot, showing the second side painting without disturbing foreground when the loco departs the turntable area. Behind the roundhouse forest area starts (5/2004).
  On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays in 2004, historical trains are scheduled on a regular basis additionally to the special event program. This train performs 2 shuttle drives between Wiener Neustadt and Muerzzuschlag those days and is here leaving the Eichberg tunnel portal (5/2004).
  Now the same train like before uphill when passing the Kalte Rinne viaduct. In the background, the Polleroswand tunnel portal is visible. The train is headed by 6 axle class 1010 which was used for the ramp operation starting in 1959 when installation of electric catenary supply was finished (5/2004). (top of page)
  On this an other composition of former days is visible. A loco like railcar class 4061 plus several 2 axle coaches is waiting for departure at the Payerbach Reichenau station. Trains of that format were typical during 60s and 70s on the OeBB network (5/2004).

The special train again when passing the Kueb station. Most engines of class 4061 later were renumbered as class 1046. Some of them additionally got reconstructed as 2 system locomotives (15kV/16,7Hz and 25kV/50Hz) and also the body shape was changed at that time (5/2004).

Continue to the event of June 19th, 2004

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