AUSTRIAN open-access operator Westbahn has released the new timetable for its Vienna – Salzburg service which will enter operation at the timetable change on December 10 2017.
The existing service from Vienna West will be accelerated by 3 minutes to offer a travel time of 2h 25mins. This compares with 2h 22mins on Austrian Federal Railways’ (ÖBB) competing Railjet service but with less stops.
The existing Westbahn service will be complemented by hourly trains from Salzburg to Vienna Meidling and Vienna Main station, which continue to Vienna Praterstern via the S-Bahn trunk line. The new service will connect with all Vienna metro lines thus offering Vienna residents enhanced access to Westbahn services. The new service will be called Westblue whilst the existing is called Westgreen. Together they will offer a train every 30 minutes from Vienna to Salzburg.
Westbahn will deploy its new Stadler Kiss2 car double-deck fleet to support the service expansion and will have the option to increase seating capacity between Vienna and Linz by operating the trains in multiple. Demand between Vienna and Linz is greater than beyond Linz.
Westbahn will also operate more trains in the morning and evening starting from Salzburg at 05.22 with the last departure at 20.22. New discount fares called Westchance will also be available. These tickets can be booked up to two days in advance but only for a time frame of three-four hours with Westbahn set to inform passengers one day before departure of the specific train for which their ticket is valid.
The new offer will be available from September 14 for trains departing from September 19 and fares will range from €8 for journeys between Vienna and Linz, and €18 from Vienna to Salzburg. Standard fares are €19.60 for Vienna – Linz, and €26.50 Vienna – Salzburg.
Westbahn CEO Mr Erich Forster stated in 2016 that the company’s revenue was around €60m but should rise to over €120m by 2020 by which point the company expects to carry 10 million passengers compared with 5 million in 2016.