Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Take Me Back To Vienna (2)

No 3 son's second puzzle picture included a bus going to Praterstern.
Praterstern is a major square in the Leopoldstadt district of Vienna, Austria . The square features the column to Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff.
And the Admiral who is admirably up the pole?

Wilhelm von Tegetthoff (23 December 1827 – 7 April 1871) was an Austrian admiral. He commanded the fleet of the North Sea during the Second Schleswig War of 1864, and the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. He is often considered one of the best naval officers of the 19th century, due to his tactical inventiveness, sense of command, and inspirational leadership.

It turns out that Praterstern is a very round Square; a large roundabout in fact, with a public transport interchange in the middle.
Dominating the Google Earth aerial view is the ÖBB railway station.

This lies on the core S-Bahn route (shown in pink on some U-Bahn maps) one stop north of Wien Mittle (Vienna Middle) the stop nearest to the centre of the city. ÖBB has an excellent diagram of the station and its appurtenances.
The platforms are on a viaduct, accessed by stars and escalators from a shopping mall.
fbb could not prise any real timetable from the ÖBB web site, but the clicknology would create a personalised timetable between two stations, a sort of extended journey planner. This offered a total of approx 9 trains every hour ...
... on the core S-Bahn route; although it would not tell me what their ultimate destination was. This line works a bit like Thamelink's core (but less frequently). Note that most of the trains run at the same times seven days a week!

To the east of the national rail station is a block with a brown-grey roof.
This is the Wiener Linien (City Transport) U-Bahn station. Here lines U1 (RED) and U2 (MAUVE) cross underground.
The line plan shows a selection of "turnback" sidings on both lines.
Signs are colour coded and direction is shown by the terminal station name; similar to the Paris Metro.
Trams and buses are at street level and most services use a fully covered bus station on the opposite side from the U-Bahn building.
It is a very impressive facility.
Trams O and 5 terminate at Praterstern ...

... O arriving from the south ...
... 5 from the north.
Tram 5 loops round the city centre to another major interchange at Westbahnhof ...
... complete with a spectacular building!
Tram O's other terminus is less distinctive ...
... at Raxstrasse.
You can just spot the red circular tram stop sign along this residential street that was a no-go zone for Google Streetview.

fbb has not yet been able to discover why Tram O and Tram D have letters and not route numbers.

Historically, there were many more tram routes at Prastestern  ...
... but official policy is to withdraw a tram route if it is covered by an U-Bahn service, so, as the U-Bahn has been extended, tram services have contracted. Again, back in ancient times, some U-Bahn services have their origin in tunnels built to speed up traditional trams.
Which leaves us with the buses and No 3 son's 82A to Praterstern.
The 5B, operated under contract to Wiener Linien - hence the B suffix) ...
... and the 80A (also a Gschwindl contract) both use the bus/tram station.
And yes, fbb did write that contracted routes carried the suffix B because that's what Wikipedia said and, no, he doesn't know why the contracted 80 is an A!

But the 82A seems to leave from somewhere different.

More tomorrow.

 Next Vienna blog : Wednesday 19th February 


  1. OeBB timetables available here:

    Historically there were lots more lettered tram routes. Broadly they denoted routes that ran around the Ring, while numbered services terminated on the edge of the Ring. It can be detected in this 1953 route map:

    There was no contracting-out when I was last in Vienna, though I suspect Wikipedia is talking rubbish. B routes almost certainly hold a relationship to the A parent, much as they would normally do in the UK.

  2. The English Wikipedia is a bit behind the times. If FBB's O-Level German extends to the German Wikipedia page, it says (roughly translated): "The 108 bus routes have a two digit number and an A or B suffix. [...] Previously, A-lines were operated directly by Wiener Linien or on their behalf. B-lines were operated by private companies in a tarif association with Wiener Linien [...] For a few years now there has been no difference. Today, A and B-lines with the same number denote, in some cases, bundles of routes (e.g. 68A and 68B), peak hour extras (e.g. 11A and 11B) or circulars such as 54A and 54B."

    The page even gives a full list of which routes are operated directly, and which are sub-contracted by Wiener Linien to other operators. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busverkehr_in_Wien#A-_und_B-Linien