Transalpin TrainTransalpin Train
The Transalpin is a EuroCity express train linking Zürich (Switzerland) with Graz (Austria) via Liechtenstein. Introduced in 2013, it is operated by the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) and the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB-CFF-FFS). From 1958 to 2010 a train of the same name linked Basel or Zürich with Vienna (see history below).
The name of the train alludes to the fact that it crosses the Alps. Transalpin was also the Ancient Roman word meaning "behind the Alps", and referring to the region of that name in northern Switzerland.
Transalpin Train Route
The train takes 9 h 34 min from Zürich to Graz (9 h 35 min in the other direction) and stops at Sargans, Buchs SG, Feldkirch, Bludenz, Langen am Arlberg, St. Anton am Arlberg, Landeck-Zams, Imst-Pitztal, Ötztal, Innsbruck, Jenbach, Wörgl, Kirchberg in Tirol, Kitzbühel, St. Johann in Tirol, Saalfelden, Zell am See, Schwarzach-St. Veit, St. Johann im Pongau, Bischofshofen, Radstadt, Schladming, Stainach-Irdning, Liezen, Selzthal, St. Michael in Obersteiermark, and Leoben. In Buchs SG (border checkpoint) and Selzthal the train changes its direction of travel.
Transalpin Train Formation
In the timetable period 2014/2015 the EC Transalpin is composed of one first class open panorama coach of the SBB CFF FFS, the other coaches are of the ÖBB, including a dining car and a combine baggage car with first class seats, allowing to transport bicycles. In second class, both compartment coaches and open coaches are offered.
Between Zürich and Buchs, the train is usually pulled by a locomotive of SBB CFF FFS class Re 420. Between Buchs and Graz, a locomotive of ÖBB class 1016 or 1116 is used, with another locomotive of the same class added in front between Buchs and Innsbruck.
Transalpin Train History
The Transalpin was first introduced in 1958, it was operated by the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) and the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB-CFF-FFS). For most of its life, it ran between Wien Westbf in Vienna, Austria, and Basel SBB in Switzerland. In 1987, it was designated a EuroCity train. In 2008, it was cut back from Basel SBB to Zürich HB, Switzerland. It was discontinued in June 2010, and replaced by a Railjet service.
From 1 June 1958 until 13 June 2010, the Transalpin was a showpiece of the ÖBB and the SBB. Introduced the year after the Trans Europ Express (TEE) network was set up in 1957, it had both first- and second-class accommodation, and therefore did not meet the "first class only" requirements to be a TEE.
Throughout its history, the Transalpin ran daily in both directions. Until the 2000s, it was always one of the fastest railway connections, with the fewest intermediate stops, in its area of operation.
The initial train numbers of the Transalpin were TS 11/12, and its original route was Wien Westbf to Zürich HB. In 1959, the route was extended to Basel (SBB station). When it became a EuroCity train, in 1987, its train numbers became EC 62 westbound and EC 63 eastbound.
To save time and the need for the train to reverse direction during its journey, the Transalpin did not stop at Salzburg Hauptbahnhof initially, but ran via the curve from Elixhausen to Salzburg-Gnigl, and stopped at Salzburg Aigen. Even today, this curve, which is now used mainly by goods trains, is known by the name Transalpin-Schleife (Transalpin curve).
In 1969, the route was changed. From then onwards, the Transalpin ran from the Western Railway at Salzburg Hbf to Wörgl via the Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB)-owned Rosenheim-Salzburg and Rosenheim-Kufstein railways, instead of along the previous route via Bischofshofen and Zell am See (Gisela railway). As the Transalpin had no scheduled stops in Germany, it was operated there as a so-called Korridorzug or "privilege train", a train in which (in the period before the Schengen Agreement) the passport and customs checks that would otherwise be required were not applicable. Until the construction of the "Rosenheim Curve" in 1982, the train had been reversed at Rosenheim.
In 1975, a writer for Fodor's travel guides described the Transalpin as "one of the best trains in Europe for mountain scenery".
In 1980, a trip on the Transalpin from Zürich to Vienna was featured in "Changing Trains", the final episode in Series 1 of Great Railway Journeys of the World, a BBC TV travel documentary. The "Changing Trains" trip, which formed part of a longer journey from Paris to Budapest, was also described in the book published to complement the TV series. In the book, Eric Robson, the presenter and author of "Changing Trains", commented that the Transalpin, as of 1980, was simply the best train that the ÖBB had to offer, "... the star of this single main line to the east."
When the EuroCity network was launched on 31 May 1987, the Transalpin was among the previously existing international express trains to be redesignated as EuroCity trains.
In June 2010, the Transalpin was replaced by the "Railjet 162" and "Railjet 163", which run to approximately the same timetable. In the timetable period 2013/2014, five pairs of Railjets connect Zürich and Vienna.
Transalpin Train Historic Route
In 2009/2010 the route of the Transalpin train was as follows:
Transalpin Train Historic Formation
Initially, the Transalpin was operated by a four-member fleet of four-car Class 4130 electric multiple units, which had been procured specifically for the purpose. The Class 4130 was a development of the Class 4030, but had a higher capacity and top speed, and its control car was equipped with a kitchen.
In 1965, the ÖBB replaced the Transalpin's Class 4130s with three six-car Class 4010 multiple units, which, again, had been procured specifically for the purpose.
In May 1977, the Class 4010s were replaced with a locomotive-hauled train formation (consist).
On the first day of the new arrangement, 21 May, the Transalpin consisted of an ÖBB Class 1042 electric locomotive, five ÖBB Schlieren coaches, one DB WRümh restaurant car (ex-Rheingold) and six additional ÖBB Schlieren coaches.
From the following day, 22 May 1977, the train, now operating as Ex 462/463, was made up of 12 ÖBB Z1 (Eurofima) coaches, one WRümh and three DB RIC coaches.
On the ascending grades of the Arlberg railway, the eastbound locomotive-hauled train often received assistance from a pilot or banking locomotive.
In the 1990s, an SBB-CFF-FFS first-class panorama car was added to the train. In some of the annual schedules, the train received an additional SBB Am or Apm first class coach and the restaurant was an internationally equipped SBB WRm of the EWIV family.
Transalpin Train Overview
Transalpin Train Service Type: EuroCity
Transalpin Train Status: Operational
Transalpin Train Locale: Austria
Transalpin Train First Service: 15 December 2013
Transalpin Train Current Operator(s): ÖBB
Transalpin Train Route:
Termini Zürich HB
Transalpin Train Stops: 27
Transalpin Train Average Journey Time: 9 h 34 min
Transalpin Train Service Frequency: Daily
Transalpin Train Number(s): EC 163/164
Transalpin Train On-board Services
Transalpin Train Class(es): first and second class
Transalpin Train Disabled Access: wheelchair space
Transalpin Train Seating Arrangements: open, 6-seat compartments
Transalpin Train Catering Facilities: dining car
Transalpin Train Baggage Facilities: bicycle conveyance
Transalpin Train Technical
Transalpin Train Track Gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1/2 in)
Transalpin Train Electrification: 15 kV AC, 16.7 Hz
Transalpin Train Operating Speed: 200 km/h
Transalpin Train Service Type: Triebwagenschnellzug
Transalpin Train Status: Discontinued
Transalpin Train First Service: 1 June 1958
Transalpin Train Last Service: 13 June 2010
Transalpin Train Successor: Railjet
Transalpin Train Termini: Wien Westbf
Zürich HB / Basel SBB
Transalpin Train Number(s): TS 11/12
EC 62, 63
EC 162/ÖBB-EC 162
EC 163/ÖBB-EC 163