The Balkan war broke out in 1992 and Yugoslavia disintegrated. For European railways this created a huge ‘no go’ area and diversion of traffic away from the war zone. By 2004 Hungary was in the EU – the transport map of Europe was being redrawn. The effect on Austria was an increase in the importance of the Westbahn at the expense of the Tauernbahn- the railway from Salzburg to Slovenia- as freight traffic for Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania was re-routed through Budapest. OBB freight division needed capacity for ever-increasing transit freight while the passenger business craved speed over its principal mainline. The painfully slow modernisation of the OBB had unexpectedly become a European priority – money was found – a new westbahn railway was built. This doubled the corridor capacity and gave the possibility of sustained high-speed running for passenger trains. Twenty years after the war started trains are running over the new railway. This is an exceptional line because it is both high-speed and multi-functional: 200kph, soon perhaps 250kph, RailJets, 160- 200kph ECs, Regional trains and 100kph freight all run over the new infrastructure. We follow the line from St Pölten to the New Central through-station, view the important connections between the old and new network, see how the new station is bedding in and what has happened to the old icon of Vienna the Westbahnhof. Filmed in HD Narrated. RT 90 mins. Published October 2013
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