The Austrian Railway Culture Prize, which was awarded for the first time in 2016 and is presented every two years, recognises an important and innovative work, project or organisation in the field of Austrian museum and tourist railways as well as extraordinary achievements in the field of Austrian railway history.
In Austria, a colourful diversity of numerous historic railways and train operators has established itself in recent decades. With their more than 3,000 volunteers, they convey living technology to visitors and provide an insight into the railway operations of times gone by. In addition to a large number of voluntary organisations, some transport companies are also active in this sector and are well aware of their tradition. They preserve rolling stock and railway equipment from decay, recognising them as irreplaceable technical cultural assets which state organisations lack the financial resources or interest to maintain.
Cultural heritage includes not only literature, art and objects, but also technical equipment that is used on a daily basis. Historical railway vehicles and technical railway equipment are therefore also to be regarded as valuable cultural assets. The Austrian Railway Culture Award is intended once again to draw attention to the achievements of the members of the Association of Austrian Museum and Tourist Railways (ÖMT) to raise their status in the public perception.
In 2022, the focus was on the topic of “vehicles” and three projects were submitted that deal with the refurbishment, repair or recommissioning of historic locomotives, railcars and wagons, including the associated planning and documentation work. There was a multi-stage evaluation process, carried out by experts according to the following criteria: Monument criteria, museum aspect, authenticity – Public perception and effectiveness, tourism – Use, operational concept, safety – Social aspects, voluntary work, intangible heritage – Financing, economic and ecological sustainability.
The award winners: Place 1: Restoration of a “Haller TramTrain Set” of the former local railway Innsbruck – Hall in Tirol/ TMB-Tiroler MuseumsBahnen – Place 2: Restoration of the two-car tram and trailer set L1 2597 + k5 3965 of the Vienna Tramway/ WTM-Wiener Tramwaymuseum – Place 3: Recommissioning of the multiple unit class 4030 of the Wiener Schnellbahn/ VEF-Verband der Eisenbahnfreunde
On Friday, 25 November 2022, the Austrian Railway Culture Award 2022 was presented to the winning project of the Tiroler MuseumsBahnen in Innsbruck. The complete set consisting of railcar 4 with trailer cars 105, 8, 16 and goods wagon 263 was presented to the public in the Remise 2 of the Innsbruck Transport Authority. After a welcome by the chairman of the Tiroler MuseumsBahnen, Ing. Walter Pramstaller, and the presentation of the project, speeches were given by representatives from city and provincial authorities as well as by the “host”, Dipl. Ing. Martin Baltes, Director of the Innsbruck Transport Authority.
The chairman of the independent jury, Univ.-Prof. Dipl. Arch. ETH Dr. Christian Hanus, Head of the Faculty of Education, Art and Architecture at Danube University Krems, praised the high standard of the projects submitted before the trophy was presented to the Tiroler MuseumsBahnen by the Chairman of the ÖMT, Ing. Harald Baminger and his deputy Gottfried Aldrian. After inspecting the exemplary refurbishment of the vehicles, a trip with motor coach 4 to Igls took place. The public presentation of the entire set with round trips on the city centre network is planned for spring 2023.
Harald Baminger ÖMT