After two years of construction, the representatives of ÖBB, EU and City of Vienna and Province of Lower Austria officially inaugurated Vienna’s section on the rail route to Bratislava.
The official ceremony was attended by Michaela Huber, Managing Director of ÖBB-Personenverkehr, Jörg Wojahn, Head of the European Commission’s Representation in Austria, Ulli Sima, the Executive City Councillor for the Environment and Vienna Public Utilities and Johanna Mikl-Leitner, the governor of Lower Austria.
The project included the construction of a 3.7 km double track and electrification works between Wien Erzherzog-Karl-Straße line and a new transfer station with U2 line at Vienna Aspern Nord station.
“The new rail link Vienna-Bratislava is not only of great importance for our city. It brings together two capitals and thus also the whole of Europe, thereby promoting development in the whole region “, said Ulli Sima.
With the completion of Vienna’s section, travelers and commuters are already benefiting from a better local transport, from the extension of S-Bahn network (through line S80) to Aspern Nord, that is Vienna’s largest urban development area. In the future, ÖBB will offer its passengers half an hour on the S80 between Aspern Nord and Vienna Central Station on weekdays and during peak hours also between Hütteldorf and Wien Hauptbahnhof. “With the order from the State of Vienna and the VOR [Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region, the Public Transport Authority Eastern Region] for the upcoming timetable, we will be offering our passengers on the S80 an additional 160,000 train-kilometers per year,” Michaela Huber said.
The Vienna section extends from Erzherzog-Karl-Straße station via Vienna Hirschstetten, to Vienna Aspern Nord. The works started in 2016 and also included the reconstruction of Hirschstetten station, a new pedestrian passage. The Wien Aspern Nord station was rebuilt as a link with the Vienna U2 metro line. With the complete commissioning of the timetable change in December 2018, one of the largest urban development areas in Europe, Seestadt Aspern, will also be connected to the S-Bahn (line S80). The residents also benefit from new noise barriers.
Under the second phase, Marchegger Ostbahn will be electrified and expanded with two tracks. The works are scheduled to be completed in 2023.
Before the commissioning of the Vienna section, work began in Lower Austria in August 2018. The next phase envisages the electrification of the connection to the state border and the double-track extension between the Siebenbrunn-Leopoldsdorf and Schönfeld-Lassee stations. A total of 7 stations will be modernized on the entire route.
Customers then benefit from a faster train connection between the two EU capitals Vienna and Bratislava. The travel time from Vienna Central Station to Bratislava will be reduced from currently 66 minutes to 40 minutes. “Overall, the expansion strengthens the trans-European network, as the route lies on two European core network corridors: the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor and the Rhine-Danube corridor,” said Jörg Wojahn, the Head of the EC Representation in Austria.