OBB holds groundbreaking ceremony for Vienna S-Bahn upgrade

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OBB has officially broken ground on its Vienna S-Bahn upgrade project, which will see the suburban commuter rail network modernized to further encourage modal shift in Vienna and help the city achieve its goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2040.

As part of the project, ÖBB-Infrastruktur will modernize the rail infrastructure, including the overhead lines, on the Vienna main line between Vienna Meidling and Vienna Floridsdorf from October 2023, renew structures and digitize the train control system using ETCS Level 2 technology for greater reliability in the overall system. The project is due for completion in December 2027.

From Unterretzbach to Payerbach-Reichenau, the platforms will also be extended to 220m to be able to run longer trains in the future. Longer trains offer more seats and therefore more comfort for rail passengers, OBB noted.

"Travelling by public transport is more popular than ever before,” said climate protection Minister Leonore Gewessler. “To ensure that the offer is right, it is important that public transport is constantly expanded and remains attractive. The investments in public transport have long-term added value and are an important contribution to climate protection for the whole of Austria.”

"The expansion of climate-friendly mobility – on foot, by bike or by public transport – is a very central concern of the growing climate model city of Vienna,” added Ulli Sima, executive city councilor for innovation, urban planning and mobility. “Vienna already has an excellent modal split and the lowest car density in Austria. We want to continue in this direction. We want to be climate-neutral by 2040 and therefore in addition to massively expanding the public transport network and cycle paths, we also want to improve the offer for commuters.

“The modernization of the S-Bahn main line is a very important building block for further climate-friendly development and the high quality of life in our city,” Sima continued.

ÖBB Infrastructure board member, Judith Engel, concluded, “With the digitalization of Vienna's main line, we are creating the conditions to transport even more passengers across Vienna safely, punctually, and comfortably in the future. The upgrade of the Vienna S-Bahn will result in more frequent intervals, shorter waiting times and satisfied passengers. After all, the better our public transport services are, the more people will switch, which means less car traffic and a healthier environment for everyone.”