European Rail News & Notes
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New direct ICE trains from Vienna Airport

By Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries |


Vienna Airport’s underground railway station (photo © Ralf Rolatschek).

Vienna Airport’s underground railway station (photo © Ralf Rolatschek).

The airport station at Vienna (called Flughafen Wien) will be linked into Europe’s long-distance rail network from 14 December 2014. At present the airport is served by regular suburban stopping trains (on route S7) and also by the dedicated airport express service (dubbed CAT for City-Airport Train) which speeds passengers arriving by plane into the heart of the Austrian capital in just 16 minutes.

But with the new European rail timetables which come into force in December, the airport station will become the eastern end point for ICE trains from Germany to Vienna. The ICE trains which leave every two hours from Flughafen Wien will run via Linz and Passau to Nürnberg.

All ICEs continue beyond Nürnberg. One train each day will run via Fulda and Hannover to Hamburg. The others will run to Frankfurt-am-Main, with two of them then continuing beyond Frankfurt to serve the classic Rhine Valley route via Koblenz and Cologne to Dortmund. One of these latter two services then continues to Hamburg where it’ll not arrive till after midnight. With a travel time of just under 14 hours, this service (ICE 26) is surely one of the most extraordinary train journeys in the new timetables.

The new service also gives a twice-daily rail link between Vienna Airport and Frankfurt Airport, which will doubtless come in handy at times when air services are disrupted. The travel time between the two airports is 7 hrs 30 mins.

Here is a note of other travel times on the new direct ICEs from Flughafen Wien:

Destination Travel time
Linz 1 hr 49 mins
Passau 2 hrs 53 mins
Regensburg 4 hrs 2 mins
Frankfurt am Main 7 hrs 11mins


All ICEs running to and from Flughafen Wien will also serve city centre stations in Vienna, stopping at both Hauptbahnhof and Meidling.

This new train service will extend Vienna Airport’s area of influence westward, making it much easier for travellers from Linz and Passau to reach the airport. In that respect, it nudges the balance in favour of Vienna Airport for travellers who might otherwise have been tempted to use Munich Airport.

We would like to express our appreciation to Helmut Uttenthaler of ÖBB for kindly drawing our attention to this new service.

Copyright © Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries. All rights reserved.
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About The Authors

Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries

Nicky and Susanne manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers and the authors of the book Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide. The 17th edition of that book was published in 2022 and reprinted in July 2023. You'll find a list of outlets that sell the book on this website.

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