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Arlberg Railway

by Alexander Sohm last modified 2007-01-08 13:25

Plans to build a railway line over the Arlberg were made back in the middle of the 19th century because it was recognized early on that an economic connection was necessary.  In 1872 the Vorarlberg railway that reached as far as the train station in Bludenz was built and in 1880 the was decision made to expand it towards the Tyrol.

The building of the Arlberg Railway from 1880 to 1884 under the direction of Julius Lott was a project of huge dimensions.  The Arlberg tunnel as well as the necessary constructions of viaducts and bridges required an immense outlay of technical skills and manpower.  The character of the communities in the Klostertal was stamped by the starting up of the railway in 1884.  One the one hand this meant a visible gash in the landscape but on the other hand the economic effects were enormous.  Besides the influence of thousands of workers on the life in the valley, the Arlberg Railway made the development of modern tourism possible, especially on the Arlberg.

The natural spatial situation has influenced the running of the railway right from the beginning.  There are only a few railway lines that are exposed to such natural influences which was the reason for the continuous development of new protection constructions and measures.  Events like the massive land slide in Kloesterle in 1892 or the avalanche catastrophe in Dalaas in 1954 manifest this struggle against the forces of nature.


P08-3 arlberg railway.mp3

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