Salzburg’s scenic suburban railway

Serving rural northern suburbs of Salzburg is the charming Salzburger Lokalbahn (SLB), an electrified 37 km (23 mile) largely single track system that runs from the subterranean platforms 11 and 12 of the city’s Hauptbahnhof (main station).

IMG_9727Services are run in two sections, with the main S1 route operating the 25.6 kms (16 miles) from Hauptbahnhof to Lamprechtshausen, while a shuttle service (S11) connects with these services at Burmoos, two stops before Lamprechtshausen, and runs through very rural terrain to the northernmost terminus at Ostermiething.

The original Lamprechtshausen line opened in 1896, and had been fully electrified by 1950. Services were moved to new station platforms below Salzburg Hauptbanhof in 1996 and there are plans for a southern extension of the line.

IMG_9753By contrast, the 11.6 km (7¼ mile) route from Burmoos (pictured right) was one of the last railway lines in Austria to open, with passenger services on the 8.8 km (5½ mile) section to Trimmelkam beginning in May 1952, and a 2.8 km (1¾ mile) extension to Ostermiething only opening in December 2014.

There is a basic service frequency of half-hourly on the S1 and hourly on the S11, which is doubled in the weekday peaks from 05.00 to 08.00 and from 15.00 to 19.30.

IMG_9777Trains are made up of two-car sets, with many services being formed by a pair of two-car sets to cater for the significant level of passenger traffic.

The system also handles freight traffic, and there are a number of well-used sidings as far north as Oberndorf (pictured left) one of the principal towns on the SLB.

Many of the SLB’s 30 stations are request stops – although not shown as such in the timetable. Pictured below is the new terminus at Ostermiething.IMG_9765

At request stops, passengers wishing to join a train must press a button on the platform no more than five minutes before the timetabled departure, which sets off a flashing red warning light to alert drivers to stop.IMG_9744

Besides its regular passenger and freight services, SLB also operates special nostalgia services for private groups, using heritage vehicles, such as unit 32 pictured below at Salzburg Itzling station.

Elsewhere there are a couple of historic coaches locked inside a shed at the northern depot of Trimmelkam, terminus of the route until the Ostermiething extension opened in 2014.

An all-day ticket covering the entire SLB system costs €13.60 and is a pleasant way for anyone visiting Salzburg to explore is attractive rural hinterland.IMG_9808

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