Category:Südbahn (Austria)

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The Austrian Suedbahn (German „Österreichische Südbahn“ or just „Südbahn“, Slovene „Južna železnica“) was an Austrian railway company established in 1841. It was the main railway company in the Austrian Empire (later Austria-Hungary) operating train services between Vienna and Trieste until 1923.

Construction began in 1839 and the first section between Vienna and Gloggnitz was completed by the private „Wien-Gloggnitzer Eisenbahn Gesellschaft“ in 1842. It followed the construction of the section from Mürzzuschlag via Graz, Maribor and Ljubljana to Trieste, completed by the Imperial government in 1857. The two lines were connected by the Semmering Railway, when the railway over the Semmering mountain pass was built according to construction plans by Carl von Ghega 1848–1854.

In 1858 all lines were sold to the private „Südbahn Gesellschaft“, which constructed another mainline from Maribor via Klagenfurt, Villach and Lienz to Franzensfeste. The Austrian Southern Railway lifted trade to and from Trieste manyfold. It lifted Austria-Hungary's international sea trade and established Trieste as the main sea port of all Southern and Eastern Central Europe (Lloyd Triestino). Trieste became the Empire's fourth largest city after Vienna, Budapest and Prague and the railway had substantial influence in developing tourism along the surrounding Adriatic coasts which made Trieste the center of the so called „Austrian Riviera“

After World War I Trieste fell to Italy in 1921 and in 1923 the remaining Austrian part of the company was nationalized. During World War II the „Wien Südbahnhof“ was damaged and rebuilt only in 1956, while „Wien Ostbahnhof“ was integrated into it. Graz Main Station also had to be rebuilt after being totally destroyed by bombs, it was reopend in 1955.

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