• FA-123611 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Traffic & Transport
Bridges and Tunnels
1850 - 1899
At the moment this object is not published in the museum.

Trisanna Bridge junction


The construction of the Arlberg Railway posed huge challenges for engineers. The Trisanna Bridge, together with the 12.4 km Arlberg Tunnel, proved particularly demanding. 

At the entrance to the Paznau valley the Arlberg Railway crosses the Trisanna river between the railway stations at Pians and Strengen. A bridge 231 m in length crosses the sheer gorge next to Schloss Wiesberg.

The middle section of the bridge was designed as a riveted trussed arch bridge made of welded iron. With a span of 120 m it was the longest iron bridge of its type in Austria at the time. The foreland bridges were built as viaduct arches out of quarry stone. The support pillars were between 55 and 57 m high.

Construction work was carried out at a height of 88 m above the valley floor, for which a timber scaffold was erected. At night electric lights were used to floodlight the building site, contributing towards the short construction period between July 1883 and July 1884.

After World War I Austria had lost its Moravian coal fields, so it was decided to electrify the alpine railway lines as quickly as possible.

It meant that the line had to be adapted to accommodate the heavier electric locomotives. The biggest challenge was reinforcing the 120 m long Trisanna Bridge using an underlying fish-bellied girder.

Hydroelectric power was used to generate the energy required. The Ruetz power plant, which went into operation in 1913, was quickly followed by the Spullersee power plant in 1919. From 1925 both supplied the energy needed to power the Arlberg Railway with electricity.

Inv.Nr. 40025
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