Petition for the Achenseebahn in Tyrol/Austria

c Achensee railway in June 2019 Photo: Gunter Mackinger

The “Achenseebahn” in the Austrian Tyrol is now hoping for a longer-term secure future after the threat to its existence from various turbulences, interruptions in operations and a change in management. Constructive talks between the Achenseebahn and the province of Tyrol as well as the payment of already promised 300,000 € of provincial funds, among other things for the salaries of the staff, seem to pave the way to lead the railway into calmer waters. All in all, following a decision by the provincial government, the Tyrolean parliament last year made funds totalling €1.2 million available for urgent restoration work and a capital increase by the municipalities. The new managing director is currently developing concepts for a secure future. Talks with the country are continuing.

In order to support the railway in its efforts, both the Association of Austrian Museum and Tourist Railways (ÖMT) and FEDECRAIL are committed to maintaining the operation of the railway. FEDECRAIL President Jaap Nieweg, in agreement with ÖMT, has written to the provincial government of Tyrol.

In this letter, Jaap Nieweg pointed out the cultural and touristic importance of the Achensee railway, from which navigation on the lake also profits. It would not be without significance for the cultural and tourist country of Austria if this cultural asset Achenseebahn, which is also an important tourist destination in Tyrol, would not survive the year 2020 as a railway in operation.

“Museums and tourist railways should not only be considered from a historical perspective, but also, if possible, in terms of their importance for the development of transport in the region in which they operate”. The Achenseebahn has been a tourist railway for summer tourism for decades. In the future, however, it could also become an attraction in winter, especially at times with little snow. New concepts have been developed by the new executive board of the railway. It should also be thought of a protection status by UNESCO (world cultural heritage).

The FEDECRAIL President appeals to the Federal State of Tyrol to do everything possible to ensure the continued existence of the railway. The financial basis for a realistic future of the metre-gauge rack railway and the necessary renovation of the line must be created.

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