The Achensee Railway in Tyrol/Austria has made it! It has been included in the 2021 list of the “7 Most Endangered” by Europa Nostra, the European heritage protection association dedicated to cultural heritage. Every year, this list names the most endangered monuments, sites and landscapes in Europe in order to mobilise public and private partners at all levels to find a viable future for the gems of cultural heritage.
For the Achensee Railway, which went bankrupt a year ago after agreed maintenance funding was withheld by politicians of Land Tyrol, it could be a milestone in its rescue. In its uniqueness using the original locomotives, rolling stock and infrastructure from its opening in 1889, it should be preserved as an important part of Austria’s cultural heritage and that it will play its full role in the development of sustainable tourism and the European Green Deal once the pandemic is over.
Both the European Commissioner for Culture and Education, Mariya Gabriel, and Europa Nostra Secretary General, Sneska Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic, stress that saving the Achensee Railway would be particularly timely in this European Year of Railways 2021.