The Brenner Railway (Brennerbahn) is a mountain railway that runs south of Innsbruck connecting the Austrian county of Tyrol with the Italian Region of Trentino-Alto and onwards to Verona. This is a major trans European road and rail artery (TEN-1) especially freight traffic connecting central Germany and the industrial Veneto Region of Italy. Brennero station stands at 1371m-the highest of the major Alpine crossings- benign in the summer, challenging in winter! We take up the winter story at Matrei - population 4 ½ thousand located near the confluence of two mountain rivers: the Sill and its tributary the Navisbach. We follow the trains up and down the north ramp (the steepest at 3% of any of the major alpine crossings). EuroCity expresses, now operated by OBB, Rolling-Highway trains between Wörgl and Brennero and Trento, intermodal trains from many operators, wagon-load and trainload freight – plus unit trains of cars and metals. Steinach is the starting point for the county sponsored local service S3l in the advertising livery of a local insurance company. The medium distance S4 starts at Brennero and runs to Kufstein or Wörgl to the east of Innsbruck. Beyond Innsbruck Hbf the unit runs not as an S Bahn but as a REX. While there are no spirals on the Brenner there is a ‘horseshoe’ in a tunnel- the St Jodok tunnel. The next station is Gries and then we pass the RoLa terminal and Brenner station – the border with Italy. We also have a look at the progress in building the Brenner base tunnel and speculate on a high-speed future when the line under the mountains is complete. Filmed in bright sunshine with lots of snow on the ground. Narrated RT 65mins. August 2015 ©FHP 2015
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