News 2022.04 - The Wienerwald Railway
The unforgettable Wienerwald Railway!
Vienna seemed to be bursting at the seams towards the end of the 19th century, and excursion destinations in the city's surroundings were becoming increasingly popular. The French-German war had just ended and the World's Fair in the Prater opened its gates. It was the time of steam tramways and light railways! The cogwheel railway up the Kahlenberg, the cable railway up the Leopoldsberg and the so-called "Knöpferlbahn" from the Rieglerhütte to the Sophienalpe were built, when the unforgettable Wienerwald-Bahn also started operating.
© HALLING Modelle
The single-track narrow-gauge railway went from Währing via Pötzleindorf and Neustift am Walde, up to the Hameau, and on via Steinriegel down into the Tullnerfeld to Sieghartskirchen. At weekends, mainly passenger trains ran to transport the city population to the countryside for summer holidays. A "pleasure railway par excellence" as they wrote!
During the week, freight traffic dominated, making the line lucrative. Food, building materials and above all fuel from the then newly discovered coal deposit near Sieghartskirchen ... the city of Vienna gobbled up vast quantities of it every day.
The economic decline of the railway was heralded by the far too rapid exhaustion of the coal deposit. In a last attempt to make the operation cheaper, the sister machine of the BBÖ 2070.01/s (ÖBB 2093.01), which still exists today, was purchased in 1927. The BBÖ 2070.02/s, which was unfortunately as underpowered as it was defect-prone, was intended to revive tourism along the line, and modern, more comfortable passenger trains were to replace the ageing steam sets.
The renewal probably came too late. During its brief heyday, the line transported 1.4 million passengers, 10,000 tons of animal products, 36,000 tons of vegetable raw materials and about 120,000 tons of mineral materials per year.
The models of the Wienerwald Railway are based on the popular model of the 2093 by Halling and an adaptation of the Stängl wagons as passenger coaches with roof bars and vents and a specially designed compartment interior. Even if not completely true to the prototype in some places, the attractive models are nevertheless a worthy memorial to the once so popular railway.