Austria has perhaps Europe's greatest intersection of railways. Trains like the Wiener Walzer, Zurichsee, Transalpin, Arlberg Express, Gondoliere, Akropolis and of course, the Orient Express contain through coaches from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Jugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, East Germany, West Germany, France, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. Some of these trains are hauled through Austria by West German locomotives, but most are in the hands of sparkling orange electric and diesel engines of the Austrian Federal Railways. Nearly all the long distance International expresses must cross one of Austria's wild and spectacular Alpine mountain passes. The Arlberg, Brenner, Karwendel and Semmering lines are all included in this programme.
Away from the main lines there is an incredible profusion of standard and narrow gauge railways extending into every part of Austria and many of them are explored in this DVD documentary.
You will be transported, sometimes in the driver's cab to the cities of Innsbruck, Salzburg, Vienna and Graz. You will see all kinds of locomotives and trains in their natural and highly scenic surroundings.
There are all kinds of steam locomotives too, hard at work on the Pinzgauerbahn, Zillertalbahn, Murtalbahn and the Feistritztalbahn. You are invited to a special steaming at Stainz and to a standard gauge steam test run on the privately owned Graz-Koflacher-Bahn. You will be propelled by rack steam locomotives to Achensee and Schafberg and we show you the locomotives of the Schneebergbahn in operation. A narrow gauge steam hauled mixed freight train was organised for your entertainment between Gross Gerungs and Gmund.
There are highly unusual electric and diesel trains as well on the Mariazellerbahn, Ybsstalbahn, Atterseebahn and the widely diverse Steiermarkische Landesbahnen.
You will be one of the privileged few invited to the 100th birthday party of the Sazlburg Lokalbahn which starts with a ride on the world's oldest operating steam tram and ends with a grand parade of trains from every era of the line's operation.
Austrian Railway Video Spectacular is an hour of continuous entertainment and information for the railway enthusiast and traveller.
There is a lot of historical content in this programme filmed in 1987.
Research and Script by Alan Pike OBE.