Semmering Railway (1998)

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The Semmering Railway, built over 41 km of high mountains between 1848 and 1854, is one of the greatest feats of civil engineering from this pioneering phase of railway building. The high standard of the tunnels, viaducts and other works has ensured the continuous use of the line up to the present day. It runs through a spectacular mountain landscape and there are many fine buildings designed for leisure activities along the way, built when the area was opened up due to the advent of the railway. 

Austria 2001. World Cultural Heritage. Semmering Railway. Austria. United Nations (Vienna). 2003. World Cultural Heritage. Semmering Railway. Austria.

The outlay of the railway over the Semmering, one of the most beautiful pass-landscapes is so outstanding, that even today it still earns admiration. Rarely nature and technique were connected in such a perfect way. While Carl Ritter von Ghega used all technical possibilities available at that time in building the first mountain railway with a minimum rail radius and the highest upward gradient, be also achieved an integration of the railway course into the landscape, which absolutely increased its beauty. Often changing views let the traveller regret that the travel time has been reduced from 2 hours to only 43 minutes since 1854 when the railway operation started. Today the 41 kilometres mountainous course covers light difference of 460 meters, crosses 16 viaducts and 15 tunnels at a speed of 58 kilometres per hour contrary to 23 kilometres per hour in 1854.

Also technically the Semmering railway course has lost nothing from its attractiveness. It provides ideal test-conditions for all new railway constructions. People living near the railway course are able to admire the newest traction vehicles a long time before their official use. Living there, is wonderful for railway fans. 

Other World Heritage Sites in Austria (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Austria section, for more information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 18 aug 2007  
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