AUSTRIA: From December 14 Austrian Federal Railways will route many of its long-distance passenger services through Wien Hauptbahnhof, which currently nearing completion. The station is already served by local and regional express trains, including those to and from Bratislava.

ÖBB confirmed on June 10 that inter-city trains from Graz, Villach, and cities in Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland will all call at the new station from the December timetable change. Motorail and overnight services will also switch to Hauptbahnhof.

Timings for many services will be improved, with Railjets operated by ÖBB and CD cutting 38 min from the Wien – Praha trip, which will take 4 h 11 min. ICE services from Linz will call at St Pölten, Wien Meidling and Wien Hbf before continuing to the airport; these will be the first long-distance trains to serve the airport station.

However, ÖBB has decided that Railjet and InterCity services now operating in and out of Wien Westbahnhof will continue to call there until December 2015, with the through services to Budapest also serving Hauptbahnhof; the Railjets will complete the trip to Budapest in 2 h 37 min. All long-distance trains will also call at Meidling, which offers good connections to the S-Bahn and Line U6.

From December 2015, ÖBB is planning to launch improved regional express and local services from Westbahnhof, allowing the long-distance trains to be consolidated at Hauptbahnhof. REX200 regional express trains running at up to 200 km/h will offer cross-platform connections at St Pölten with Railjet services to and from Hauptbahnhof.

ÖBB expects to open its new BahnhofCity shopping and commercial centre at Hauptbahnhof on October 10. Around 20 000 m² will be given over to about 90 shops and other retail outlets.