The railway collection of the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum) comprises over 60 large-scale exhibits. The most precious among them include originals which, like the court saloon carriage of Empress Elisabeth, are more than 150 years old – and they are an experience in themselves.
Of all the exhibits featured in the collection, the railway vehicles are by far the most fascinating. Six of the most precious vehicles are exhibited around the large central hall of the Technisches Museum. Thematically, they are part not just of the Transport exhibition, but also of the Heavy Industry and Energy exhibition areas.
Coal and steel from Moravia were once transported on the Emperor Ferdinand Northern Railway Line. The steam locomotive Ajax, which operated on that line, bears witness to this bygone era. By its very nature, it is also an example of an end product of heavy industry.
Following the end of the Habsburg monarchy, hydropower was used to generate the electricity needed to supply Austria’s railways with domestic energy. At the Technisches Museum Wien, locomotive 1060.001 of 1912 is exhibited close to a turbine unit from the Ruetz power plant, both of which were built for the Mittenwald Railway Line.
Drive systems powered by electricity are as predominant today for the railways as steam power was in the early 20th century. So standing next to the 1060.001 is a steam locomotive that also ties in the Energy exhibition area. This special steam locomotive – Class Grouping 1.20 of the Imperial Royal Austrian State Railways – can even be admired in motion. It has been cut open to provide a view of the locomotive’s inner workings, enabling visitors to admire the interplay of cylinders and linkages during the demonstrations.
Make sure you also visit our Transport exhibition on Level E4, featuring other original vehicles.