I'll write about the trains I saw on our first day in Vienna, then move on to trams and the train we took for a side trip to Salzburg. Finally I'll describe our trip on the Railjet to Prague and our Czech Republic rail experience.
We love reading German words.
After landing in Vienna, clearing the very perfunctory customs (literally just getting our passports stamped, with no words being exchanged), and fetching our luggage, we bought our train tickets and walked down to the underground train station, the Flughafen Wien.
Airport-DowntownYou have two choices for trains between the Vienna airport station and the main train station near downtown, Wien Mitte ("Vienna Middle"). The CAT (City Airport Train) express train whisks you there in 16 minutes for 12 Euros, while the S7 (a local train) takes 25 minutes on the same tracks for 4.20 Euros. We took the S7. However I did photograph the CAT while waiting for the S7.
|CAT City Airport Train in Vienna|
|ÖBB 1116 115 in Vienna|
ÖBB is the Austrian Federal Railways (Österreichische Bundesbahnen) and they own and operate the rail lines in Austria, as well as freight and passenger services. The WESTbahn private company operates passenger services on some of their lines through open access.
Another train zipped by while we were waiting for the S7. This was a short maintenance train that did not stop.
|ÖBB 2016 029, Vienna|
Finally our train, the S7, came along. You can see it is an older train but it was perfectly fine for 25 minutes.
|The S7 train in Vienna|
|An industrial diesel at a local.. refinery?|
|The tank cars are different too!|
Vienna Subway / U-BahnThe Vienna subway system is known as the U-Bahn (short for Untergrundbahn or "underground railway"). They have five lines (U1 through U4, and U6; there's no U5 but it is apparently planned). Like many subways around the world, they are not entirely underground. For example, when we went to the excellent Schönbrunn palace, we took a subway and here it is at the Schönbrunn station, above ground.
|Subway at Schönbrunn station|
Vienna TramsThere is an extensive tram network in Vienna (the Wiener Straßenbahn-Netz), the sixth largest in the world. They have a little over 500 cars in their fleet and provide excellent service. Some of Vienna's trams date from the 1960s and 1970s.
|Vienna tram 120|
Vienna's BusesBuses are well integrated into Vienna's transit system. Most of the buses are pretty modern in appearance. Some use the same electric catenary that the trams use, and some are diesel powered. We didn't use buses very much as the subways and trams did the trick for most of what we wanted to see.
Random Tourist PhotosHere's a few scenes from Vienna. It's such a pretty city - a lot like Paris in appearance.
|The Vienna state opera house|
|A view of Stephansdom aka St. Stephen's cathedral|
|Part of the roof of St. Stephen's cathedral|
Up NextNext I'll describe our trip to Salzburg, which involved riding the excellent WESTbahn train as well as sighting a number of freight and passenger trains. Listen for the Sound of Music!