Increasing traffic numbers on the S10: calls for railway expansion are getting louder

Increasing traffic numbers on the S10: calls for railway expansion are getting louder
Increasing traffic numbers on the S10: calls for railway expansion are getting louder

The multi-track expansion of the Summerau railway is still pending

There was great disappointment in the Mühlviertel region in January after the presentation of the long-term expansion of the railway network in Austria: the expansion strategy up to 2040 presented by Infrastructure Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) and ÖBB boss Andreas Matthä does not include the Summerau railway. While the minister cited a pending agreement with the Czech railway as the reason for the delay, Matthä cited insufficient passenger potential in the overall economic benefit-cost analysis as the reason for the postponed investment at the ÖBB balance sheet presentation a few weeks later.

An argument that is not accepted in this country. “In view of the dynamics of traffic development on the S10, this project cannot be put on the back burner,” says Florian Hiegelsberger, regional manager of the People’s Party in Upper Austria, referring to current figures from the motorway operator Asfinag. According to them, the daily traffic volume at the Götschka counting station has increased by 15 percent in the past three years: In March 2021, an average of 20,305 vehicles were on the road at this point every day, but this March the measurement already showed 23,355 vehicles. In view of the expected closing of the gap between the S10 and the Czech D3 motorway in the coming decade, Hiegelsberger believes it is high time to push ahead with the double-track expansion of the railway as an alternative to the road.

According to an analysis by the Vienna University of Economics and Business, it is expected that freight traffic in and through Austria will increase by 45 percent by 2040. The connection from Upper Austria to the Czech Republic is no exception. Over the past ten years, Upper Austria’s exports to the Czech Republic have increased by 75 percent. Imports to Upper Austria have also more than doubled.

Target Network Conference on Friday

The current initiative from Upper Austria is also being taken in view of a specialist conference on the “ÖBB target network 2040” taking place the day after tomorrow, Friday, at the Vienna University of Technology. The contents of the expansion strategy will be presented and discussed. There is another aspect that is setting off alarm bells in Upper Austria: in recent months, there has been increasing discussion of strengthening the Berlin-Prague-Brno-Vienna axis. Hiegelsberger: “If this is implemented, the Summerau railway will finally be on the international siding.”

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