The ÖBB: A Completely Transformed Railway Lines

Austria, like the majority of European nations, has an enormous railway infrastructure. The system comprises many sorts of railway lines, including central lines, minor routes, narrow-gauge routes, and, of course, high-speed railway lines, which have arisen in the recent two decades to supplement the current significant routes where the need is great.

Some minor routes have been decommissioned in recent years, and more will follow as the need has declined due to motorized vehicles over the previous few decades.

The Austrian Federal Railways, abbreviated as ÖBB, is Austria’s national rail network and the controller of Liechtenstein’s railways. The Republic of Austria owns the whole ÖBB group, which is organized into numerous distinct enterprises that oversee assets and conduct passengers and cargo services.

Despite being formed in 1923, they now operate several of Europe’s most modern and widely used passenger services, particularly their flagship Railjet and Nightjet routes, which go into several neighboring countries. We chatted with Bernhard Rieder, an ÖBB representative, about their activities, the advantages of Railjet and Nightjet trains, and how Europe promotes safe travel during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Why Choose ÖBB?

ÖBB not only intends to create a new territory but also to be a leader in how a firm may become totally viable. ÖBB is off to an impressive start: an aggregate of 100 percent of the energy required to operate the trains is already derived from hydroelectric and other renewable energy sources, making ÖBB one of Europe’s most environmentally friendly transportation businesses.

ÖBB aspires to attain total weather neutrality in all sectors. This is a significant project for a firm with a present total energy consumption of 3.0 TW/h in the transportation field, a real estate portfolio of around 5,500 buildings of different kinds, and plans to expand the number of trains and trains kilometers by 30% after 2025.

Nonetheless, significant goals have already been reached. For instance, ÖBB has been energy-neutral regarding electrically driven trains since early 2018, and all buildings and structures have been electrically powered 100 percent from natural sources since 2019. The firm’s division’s long-term aim is to be climate-neutral by 2030, accompanied by the whole organization by 2050.

ÖBB is the only national railway firm with its own electricity supply system, which includes ten hydroelectric power plants, seven transformer stations, and a 2,000 km traction current network. It stances itself as an ecologically aware electricity provider for railway transport firms and infrastructure operators.

The firm’s own hydropower facilities meet around 35% of the electricity needs, with the remaining 25% supplied by associate hydropower projects. The rest of the conditions are fulfilled by the public grid.

All technical options, as per ÖBB, are being explored as part of the attempts to attain carbon neutrality. They have developed a wide range of productivity enhancement projects to lower total need, primarily in the mobility, construction, and infrastructure sectors. Regenerative brakes are also used in modern trains and rail vehicles to conserve energy. Furthermore, ÖBB recently tested a hydrogen fuel cell train for use on the Austrian railway network.

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