One of the 7 most endangered objects?

c Achenseebahn, 10th December 2020. Photo: Gunter Mackinger

The Achensee Steam Cog Railway is the only public railway in the world that, since it was opened in 1889, still uses all of the equipment of a late 19th-century railway system. These elements are steam-locomotives, passenger carriages, an engine-house with sliding platform, workshop, rails, dams and bridges.

In the spring of 2020, the Achensee Railway company went bankrupt and the subsidies which were promised by the Tyrolean provincial government were not disbursed by autumn. This authentic example of European industrial heritage is at risk of fast deterioration due to lack of maintenance to ensure its original and continuous function.

ICOMOS Austria, with the support of Europa Nostra Austria, nominated the Achensee Steam Cog Railway to the 7 Most Endangered Programme 2021.Fedecrail has been involved in this project since 2019.

The Advisory Panel of the Programme commented: “We hope that possible renegotiations of the funding problems could bear fruit. The public support for saving the railway is growing, not only by the Achensee Support Association’s activities but also the enthusiastic volunteers who run the line single-handedly.”

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