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Schruns Railway Station

by Theresa König last modified 2007-01-09 21:17

You are now at the Schruns railway station – the starting point for the Schruns-Tschagguns walkabout. The Montafon Railway started running in 1905 and was the only electric railway in the empire at that time. The train, with its modern cars brings you to all of the villages in the Aussermontafon – or Outer Montafon – all the way to Bludenz. From here you also have direct connections to all of the villages in Montafon with the MBS busses. To the north lies the community of Bartholomaeberg, the oldest settlement in the Montafon. South-west of here, Mount Zimba juts out of the Vandans stone wall. This is the end of the valley close to Bludenz and the Brandnertal. Mount Zimba is also known to the locals as “our little Matterhorn”. We are now passing through the traffic circle, travelling northwards and in the direction of Bartholomaeberg.

The Montafonerbahn AG (MBS) or Montafon Railway Limited was founded in 1904 in Schruns. The main stockholder is the Stand Montafon with 54.5%. 11.5% belongs to the Vorarlberg Ill power station, 11.2% belongs to the state of Vorarlberg and 22.8% of the stocks are owned by the public. As the only privately owned railway in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, it has been running since December 18th, 1905 in the remote Montafon Side Valley with electric, normal gauge tracks.

The 12.7 km. long line begins in Bludenz on the Arlbergbahn (561 meters above sea level) and ends in Schruns (681 meters above sea level). There, thanks to the attractive public transit system, the passengers can transfer to the regional busses.

From 1905 to 1972, the Montafon Railway ran on 800 Volts of direct current (DC) which caused problems with the crossover onto the Arlberg Railway from 1925 because the Arlberg Railway ran on15 v, 16 2/3 hertz alternating current (AC).  At the beginning they used steam engines to push the train and later they built accumulators in the rail cars. In 1955 the MBS bought two rail busses and a trailer. 

While building the Ill power stations in the Silvretta in the first half of the 20th century, the Ill power station built a junction to a narrow gauge railway from Tschagguns to Partenen.  Today, all that can be seen of the railway line is the normal gauge junction line that runs parallel to the interstate road to the loading dock in Tschagguns.

After changing over to AC current in 1972, the MBS was basically modernised.  In 1990 and 1994, two new two-part railway cars were purchased from the Swiss NPZ series.

With the acquisition of two new rail cars in 2000 and 2001 modernisation of the rolling stock was complete.  Today the Montafon Railway cars not only run along their regular route but also run from Feldkirch to Buchs in the canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland via The Principality of Liechtenstein.  For this purpose, some of the Montafon trains are equipped with push-pull cars from the ÖBB (Austrian National Railway).

The Montafon Railway service from Bludenz to Schruns is the backbone of public transportation in the fore Montafon and belongs to the most modern private railways in Austria.

The Montafon Railway Ltd. is not only a railway service.  Today the company supplies electricity, co-ordinates the bus services and offers planning services, cable TV, high-speed internet and electrical installations.

The company produces 22 giga watts of electricity in the Litz power station from water power alone.  With the power of the sun, the photo voltaic plant on the Bartholomaeberg can feed 18,000 kilowatts of environmentally friendly, renewable electricity into the network.  The bio-mass heating system delivers cosy warmth to the centre of Schruns.  The renewable energy from the Montafon forest wood chips will be playing a bigger role in the future.

The mains of the Montafon Railway Co. Ltd. are one of the most dependable power suppliers in Austria. A 24 hour stand-by service guarantees uninterrupted service in case of a power failure.

With the continuously expanding cable TV network, the company supplies about 3,000 households with TV and radio programmes. 

With the tourism internet platform, it is also a partner for the hotels and businesses.

The Montafon Railway Co. Ltd. is a company that is from and for the region.


P01-1 Schruns Railway Station.mp3

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