Imagine taking a train on a track huddled on high mountains and covering a distance of more than 40 kilometers. This is not just a fantasy o as the Semmering Railway is very much real! Even though the railway was built in the late 19th century, it is still rated as one of the biggest achievements in the realm of civil engineering.
About 20,000 men were employed to carve limestone rocks to pave way for the track. It is extraordinary that the superior quality of the tunnels, bridges, and overall infrastructure of Semmering, guaranteed that the railway would be in great condition for years to come. It is no wonder that Semmering Railway is recognized a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
But aside from amazing engineering, the reason travelers should endure Semmering is because of the magnificent views of the mountainous landscape in between the Austrian towns of Gloggnitz and Murzzuschlag. The train ride on this railway highlights everything exalted about the eastern Austrian Alps and the Hungarian plains. The trains formerly used for the track were powered by steam engines but were substituted with electricity in 1959. Nevertheless, the overall design of the old train line, including the old tunnels and bridges have been shielded.
The Semmering Railway ride lasts for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, going over Semmering Pass and crossing the Australian Alps. During the trip, the train will pass over 16 viaducts held by many arches, and through 14 tunnels. Another highlight is the main tunnel, which is renowned for stretching 1,430 meters. The railway is part of the greater S-Bahn railway that goes in between Vienna and Graz. It uses an Alpine crossing that had been repeatedly used during medieval times. This crossing connects to Venice and later Trieste, to Vienna.
The old train and landscape are not the only things to admire during your adventure. There are also several charming attractions along the way that deserve a look. One of them is the S-Bahn railway culture museum situated in Mürzzuschlag. This museum features Semmering Railway’s history and remarkable engineering. Semmering town, in which the train also stops, is a mountain health resort that delights visitors with its relaxing ambiance and fresh air. Once in town, you can easily engage in outdoor activities, especially in the summer.
Going for a hiking tour on the railroad train is considerably satisfying because you will get exceptional panoramas and get the chance to appreciate this railroad engineering feat up close. Another lovely town near Semmering is Zauberberg, which is a hotspot for tourists traversing the Semmering area. This popular ski resort offers 14 kilometers of downhill slopes and a split park. The other famous ski resort in the area is Stuhleck Mountain, which is frequented for its exciting snow parks.