In The Rhythms Of Bygone Days

For many years the transport of goods in the Bregenzerwald region of the Vorarlberg was carried out on carts and mule tracks.

The authorities decided to build a rail link through the area at the end of the 19th century which would help to support industry, commerce and tourism.

The ground-breaking ceremony took place on 07 September 1900. Around a thousand workers from Trentino, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary were involved in the construction of the Bregenzerwald railway. The line that led from Bregenz to Bezau in the Bregenzerwald was considered a masterpiece of railway construction and ran for the first time in 1902.

However the Bregenzerwaldbahn had to battle with the forces of nature in the Achschlucht gorge throughout its life. Finally, a rockfall near Kennelbach in 1980 meant the end of continuous railway operation.

The bregenzerwaldbahn in the Vorarlberg
The Bregenzerwaldbahn steam train
© Ian Ehm |

Today, the nostalgic railway, affectionately known as the “Wälderbähnle” by the locals, runs between Andelsbuch-Bersbuch and Bezau. A total of five kilometres of the former line can be experienced on the historic steam locomotives.

The historic rail service usually runs between mid-May and mid-October on weekends and additionally on Wednesdays in high season.

More information:

Find out more about the Bregenzerwald region of Austria on our Bregenzerwald page.