Südbahn Museum

From Vienna to Trieste in 13 hours and 4 minutes - in 1857, when the last track of the Südbahn was laid, this was considered a sensation. Until then, crossing the Alps had been a challenging and time-consuming undertaking. Now, with the Semmering Line, the world's first high mountain railway, starting at Mürzzuschlag, heavy steam locomotives took over the arduous ascent and descent. Based at Mürzzuschlag railway station, they had the horsepower needed to pull the trains across the Semmering. Some of these engines are still on display at the Südbahn Museum, which opened in 2004. Two listed railway sheds and the historic roundhouse tell the story of the Südbahn from its earliest designs to the present day. The varied exhibition ranges from the construction of the Semmering Railway and a real-life "tunnel experience" to famous rail travellers on the "Train of Destinies" and a mysterious "Locomotive of the Senses". Highlights of the rolling stock collection include the 1848 Steinbrück steam locomotive - the oldest surviving Austrian-made steam locomotive - and the Ce 6/8 II "Crocodile" electric Swiss mountain locomotive.

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Südbahn Museum
Heizhausgasse 2
8680 Mürzzuschlag
+43 (0) 3852 - 2556641


"A mighty step forward has been taken, an important and momentous work is blessedly flourishing," wrote the Leipziger Illustrirte Zeitung on 7 June 1845 in a detailed report on the opening of the Vienna-Trieste railway. It was referring to the section from Mürzzuschlag to Graz, which had been completed at that time. But the real challenge was yet to come: with the mountain route to the north across the Semmering, piling up to an altitude of almost 1000 metres, the engineer Carl Ritter von Ghega went down in railway history. Some 140 years after its completion, it is the first railway line to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mürzzuschlag station is the southern gateway to the Semmering Railway. Equipped with workshops, boiler houses and roundhouse, it is also the largest operating station on the line. Technically and historically significant, it is the last surviving ensemble from the early days of the Austrian railway. Not for nothing have the halls of the Südbahn Museum been listed as a historical monument since 2006.

The museum opened in June 2004 to mark the 150th anniversary of the Semmering Railway. The Friends of the Südbahn association played a major role in this, acting as the museum's organisers from the outset and adding the roundhouse as an additional exhibition hall in 2007. The society now concentrates on the maintenance and expansion of the collection and undertakes extensive documentation and research. Presentation and communication, however, are in the hands of an agency. The permanent exhibition "Vienna-Mürzzuschlag-Trieste: 13 hours 4 minutes", which illustrates the importance of the Südbahn for the Habsburg Empire in the 19th century, is flanked by an extensive collection of vehicles, including the world's largest collection of draisines. The museum is also the starting point for walking and cycling tours of the outstanding engineering achievements of the Südbahn.

Recommended duration of visit:2 Hours
Duration of a guided tour:90 Minutes
Access for persons with disabilities:Available
Infrastructure for children:
Gift and book shop on site:yes

May to October
Wednesday - Sunday, bank holiday 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm

November to April
Saturday, Sunday 10am-3pm

  • Guided tours optional
  • Tours in other languages
  • Guided tours for children