Semmering Railroad - 1

The Semmering Railroad - situated in Austria, this line connects the cities of Gloggnitz and Muerzzuschlag, and it's a section of the "Suedbahn".

This is part 1 of my line presentation. Also available are from north to south part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5; anniversary 150 years and a gallery with winter images.

This first part deals with the section between Gloggnitz and the Abfaltersbach viaduct. For geographical orientation click on the area map symbol left.

Some of the photographs down this page were taken in the 80s and 90s of last century. Between 2001 and today, I undertook further excursions to the Semmering mountain in order to produce new material. Some fruit of this efforts, I put to the following galleries.

Scroll down and feel free browsing ...

The line across the Semmering is the first European or even world-wide mountain railroad. In 1854 the scheduled operation started and until 1959 the complete operation was executed with steam locomotives. At the beginning there were a lot of doubts, if such mountain line may work at all.

The first locomotives were built during some engineering competition and were really adventurous constructions. Not one of them was taken over for regular operation. The first satisfactory machines were 2-6-0 machines, constructed by Wilhelm Freiherr v. Engerth, being able to carry loads up to 140 tons across the ramps. Later those locos were reconstructed into 0-8-0 tender types.

Two daily pairs of trains were scheduled at the line's start up in 1854. The travelling time, needed between Gloggnitz and Muerzzuschlag was about 2 hours, which corresponds to an average speed of 20 km/h. At that time all brakes were still operated manually.

In 1937 the stock of steam locos in Gloggnitz and Muerzzuschlag together was 69 machines in working order and further 8 designated for repair works. The locomotive series which executed the ramp operation were: 54, 56, 156, 257, 58, 258, 77, 91, 92, 392, 95 (OeBB numbers).

  A commuter train from Wiener Neustadt approaches Gloggnitz in the early morning. Payerbach- Reichenau will be the terminal station for trains consisting of such biplane carriages. Gloggnitz is the starting point of my Semmering line presentation, it will end with a southern departure from Muerzzuschlag station (6/2005).  

The Gloggnitz station area was done up at the beginning of the new millenium. Platforms and a pedestrian underpass are new. Additionally they built several through and passing tracks. Left of the bright building in the middle, in former times steam locomotive sheds and maintenance facilities were located. In the back Wimpassing and Ternitz (8/2005).

Click on the images to get enlarged view!

  In a few moments 1142.619 will build a tandem with the loco of the freight train which approached short time ago. Tandem drive is required until Muerzzuschlag, the southern end of the ramp. Beside class 1042 also class 1116 engines are scheduled for ramp support (11/2004). (top of page)  
  At about 12:18 p.m. the IC 534 Burgenstadt Friesach passes the station of Gloggnitz. Because of the Taurus locos, a class 1044 is getting more and more rare heading inter city trains. In the background visible is the pedestrians walk crossing the track area (5/2003).  
  With a left turn the line follows the Schwarza river. EC 32 "Allegro Stradivari" is an Italian composition which departed in Venice / Italy. The most left rail was exchanged this day because of abrasion. Workmen are still fixing some sleeper screws (5/2005).  
  The Schloeglmuehl station situated between Gloggnitz and Payerbach Reichenau. The northern energy in feed is located here. In the background the Rax mountains and left the Kreuzberg is visible. Intercity train 552 Stadt Bruck an der Mur 4010.013 on its way to Vienna (11/2004). (top of page)  
  Class 1044.003 is the loco hauling up a freight train from Schloeglmuehl to Payerbach-Reichenau. The first two engines of class 1044 were built in 1974/75. They were used for testing different concepts in electrical equipment. The shown engine 003, built in 1978, therefore was the first regular loco of class 1044 (5/2005).  
  Payerbach Reichenau in rainy autumn. The freight train going north will be passed in a few minutes by another train. In the background left the station building. At the end of the visible straight section, a left bend entering the Schwarza viaduct follows (10/2004).  
  At the Reichenau station, the real starting point of the Semmering ramp, the 95.112 is presented as a monument. The class 95 (BBOe class 82) with axle scheme 2-10-2 was the preferred support loco to carry trains across the mountain. The personnel liked her because of her smooth rolling quality (about 1987). (top of page)  
  The signal bridge controls the entrance into the ramp section. A freight train with class 1116 has passed the Schwarza viaduct downhill a few moments ago and now enters the station of Payerbach-Reichenau (5/2003).  
  Behind the station of Payrbach the river Schwarza is crossed on the Schwarza viaduct with its 4+5+4 arches. After the 180° turn the ramp climbs up along the Kreuzberg hillside. A class 4010 railcar is going uphill. Also compare with the page entrance image, which shows a similar situation (10/2004).  
  The shown inter city train on the Schwarza viaduct is located exactly at the same position, like the one on the image before. It is carried by a single 1044 (10/2001).
(top of page)
  This is the special train "Zauberberge", it was in operation when editing this report. From a window of the last carriage, I plan to produce some impressions of my uphill drive. The 1010.003 is a C-C axle loco built in the 50s, the brown coach is a vintage restaurant car, the green coaches are former first class units, and the train crosses the Schwarzaviadukt (5/2005).  
  This Payerbach Graben viaduct needs to be passed close before the train arrives at the Schwarza viaduct. 3 of 5 arches are hided behind trees. From this position the track inclination is well recognizable. In the background the opposite mountain side of the Schwarza valley (10/2004).  
  The Payerbach Graben viaduct is part of this 800 m long straight section which follows the Schwarza viaduct. A regional stopping train goes down hill. Remarkable the style how plants grow between the rails on a main line ... (7/2003). (top of page)  
  By chance to meet an uphill and a downhill train at the same time after setting up the tripod, such luck is rare when taking railroad images. Behind the next line bend uphill the station of Kueb will be passed (10/2001).  
  A freight train passing Kueb. Compared with the loco behind, the front loco presents a lot of class maintenance care. The 1142.663 has just two doors and the painting and headlight style complies with the latest design release. Just the round buffers are not actual standard. The second loco presents an older design style (10/2001).  
  The Kuebgraben viaduct is located uphill directly behind the Kueb station. This train passes the viaduct downhill. Locally the viaduct building is that hidden behind trees, that the only way to get a picture was, to take it from opposite of the valley, using a tele lens (5/2005). (top of page)  
  Behind the Kueb station first the Kueb Graben viaduct is passed. Then the line bends right towards the Pettenbach tunnel. Using the tele optics such shots through the 185 m long tunnel are possible. The line inclination decreases at the tunnel section (9/2004).  
  The Pettenbach tunnel is the first of 16 tunnels which has to be passed climbing up the Semmering ramp. The photo shows the 1042.555 at the uphill exit of the Pettenbach tunnel (about 1988).  
  Immediately behind the tunnel the Hellgraben is passed. The express train is carried by a class 1044 loco. At the left, one of 57 former railroad attendant buildings is visible. The railroad attendants contributed significantly in the traffic security system of the early days (about 1988).
(top of page)
  About 14 years later than the photograph before, this one was taken at the location. The class 1044 locos look quite unchanged. Just the parapets of the Hellgraben viaduct got refurbishment in the meantime (5/2002).  
  The second tunnel is named Steinbauer tunnel. Some regional passenger train carried by the 1142.569 approaches the tunnel portal. This loco rather displays some run-down appearance. Just the rectangle style buffers are latest equipment standard (10/2001).  
  Once again the 1142.663 - here leaving the short
Steinbauer tunnel going uphill. It seems, this loco has its home on the Semmering ramps, performing traction support services (10/2001). (top of page)
  In the background the Steinbauer tunnel one more times. The class 1044 carries some freight train solo across the ramp. Camera positions close to the rail level sometimes display interesting details of the loco chassis' (10/2001).  
  Freight train approaching the Steinbauer tunnel going downhill. Taken in October 2001 the image presents some autumn style vegetation. I do like this photograph, because the little back lit illumination from the right perfectly models the loco body. The 1042.520 is a loco from the first production series (10/2001).  
  Open sections are rare at the north ramp. Close behind the Steinbauer Tunnel an exception existes. An impressive 1116 tandem is hauling Intercity EC 31 Carlo Goldoni in direction of Venice (9/2004). (top of page)  
  If turning at the location of the image before one has this view. At about 4:45 pm the 150 years anniversary special train scheduled in 2004 passes this location for the fourth and last time this day (10/2004).  
  About 1/2 an hour before this shot, the fog was that thick
that I was afraid about visibility and brightness for my 100
ASA film. But minute by minute the situation improved and as culmination this train with its impressive 1116 tandem appeared ... (10/2001)

The design style of this 1142.550 is interesting. The basic design complies with that of the 1142.663, but here we see
a four door version. When taking these pictures, there were some activities in order to install stronger earth cables. Partly also over head catanary pylons were matter of change (10/2001).
For more images go to part 2

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