The first electrified section of the Mattig Valley Railway went into operation on Sunday. The new, faster trains and additional Park & Ride spaces are expected to bring 15 to 20 percent more passengers. In the next few years, the entire route is to be expanded for electric operation.
The 37 kilometer long Mattigtalbahn between Straßwalchen-Steindorf (Flachgau) and Braunau (Upper Austria) is 150 years old and has only been used by diesel locomotives so far. But that is changing now: The first electrified section went into operation on Sunday – a completely renovated and partly newly built five-kilometer stretch between Neumarkt am Wallersee and Friedburg (Upper Austria).
“We can drive faster”
ÖBB, the federal government and the federal states have invested a total of 80 million euros in modernizing this section of the route. This money pays off, says ÖBB project manager Marcus Jungwirth: “We can not only drive electrically, but also faster. This benefit of the faster travel time can also be transferred to longer stops. This was already noticeable in the summer, for example – through the additional regional express stop in Seekirchen. With the timetable change, there is now an additional stop in Straßwalchen-West. In the course of this station renovation, Park & Ride facilities with 100 parking spaces were also built – that is a tenfold increase compared to the old capacity. “
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Additional trains, better offer
The renewal will not only bring more stops and faster trains for commuters, adds ÖBB regional manager Josef Spiesberger: “There are a lot of commuters on the route from Braunau to Salzburg. We can also offer trains there on weekends. Thanks to the Park & Ride offer and the modern trains, travelers will – I think – accept this very well. I do think that we can expect between 15 and 20 percent more passengers on this route in this section in the near future. “
The new regional trains are in no way inferior to other modern passenger trains in terms of comfort. Regional manager Spiesberger emphasizes that the new sets also have WiFi on the train and are fully air-conditioned.
Mattigtalbahn: electrified section goes into operation
Electrification to Braunau in the ÖBB framework plan
The modernization of the Mattig Valley Railway should not stop in Friedburg. Until Braunau it was still important to get many commuters to change trains. “The next essential building blocks are the reconstruction of the stations on the route – Mattighofen, Munderfing and Mauerkirchen,” says Alexander Öppinger from Strategic Planning at ÖBB Infrastruktur. “The colleagues are already planning the implementation. There will be construction work there next year. The construction work is designed to cover the further electrification of the line. After that, the financing of the further electrification to Braunau is already secured in the framework plan. “
The electrical operation will make the Mattig Valley Railway “even more attractive because it means that vehicles can be faster, more attractive timetables and, in the end, the offers can be expanded,” says Öppinger with certainty.