Salzburg Stadtbahn (Image:

AUSTRIA: The Federal Ministry for Transport & Environment has authorised the construction of a 15 km Stadtbahn line running from the main station in Salzburg to the south of the city and on to the suburb of Hallein.

Dubbed S-Link, the project forms an end-on extension of the existing Salzburger Lokalbahn. It is due to be built in four stages, and has been granted a 99-year concession. Services would be run by the city’s public transport operator Salzburg Linien Verkehrsbetriebe GmbH.

The first stage, which was endorsed by the city council in December 2020, will form a 1 km double-track underground extension of the Lokalbahn from its existing sub-surface terminus alongside the main station to Mirabellplatz, east of the city centre. Preliminary works are expected to begin later this year with the main construction phase commencing in early 2025 for completion by 2028.

The second phase would continue the line from Mirabellplatz to Akademiestrasse, near the castle on the west side of the Salzach River. The third stage would see S-Link extended to Salzburg Süd, while the fourth would take it on to Anif and Hallein. Details of the alignment and station locations for the second, third and fourth stages have yet to be finalised, with three route options being investigated. Completion of the project is not expected until around 2034.

Anticipated cost of the S-Link project ranges from €1∙98bn to €2∙84bn, depending on the final choice of alignment. The federal government has committed to covering half of the total capital investment.

In the longer term the S-Link may be connected to the city’s S-Bahn network, potentially facilitating the operation of tram-train vehicles over tracks operated by Austrian Federal Railways.

Meanwhile, Salzburger Lokalbahn continues to invest in infrastructure and other improvements, following the completion last year of station modernisation and reconstruction work at Oberndorf and Bürmoos. Track upgrades are currently in progress between Schlachthof and Anthering, while station improvements are being made at Schlachthof, Muntigl, Acharting and Siggerwisen.

Further sections of the line are due to be double-tracked, with the 2∙2 km between Haidenöster and Bürmoos to be tackled in 2026 and the Eching –Irlach section in 2027. Station tracks at Bergheim and Anthering will also be extended. This will enable the introduction of a 15 min interval service between Salzburg and Bürmoos from 2028.

A fleet of new rolling stock is being planned for delivery in 2027. Other improvements include a new train control centre, the installation of GSM-R, and the roll-out of digital signalling with continuous train control.