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Bundesbahnen, Österreichische, ÖBB#

Bundesbahnen, Oesterreichische (OeBB - Austrian Federal Railways, Most of the Austrian Railway system is federally administered through the OeBB. Since 1993 the OeBB has been an independent enterprise which is subdivided into two parts: "infrastructure" and "turnover", which form a joint enterprise. The federal government bears the costs for the infrastructure, for the use of which users have to pay. The OeBB is divided into various sections: passenger travel, goods transport, management services, infrastructure services, planning, and engineering.

Due to the economic structure of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the Austrian rail network consisted of private and state-owned railways. In 1882 the state railway system was set up, but for financial reasons nationalisation was only gradual. In 1922/23 the OeBB (then called BBOe) became an economic entity; the state had sovereign and supervisory powers. From 1938 to 1945 the OeBB was part of the German Railways. According to the Administrative Transition Act of 1945 the OeBB became a state-owned enterprise which was given its present name in 1947. Legally, the OeBB has been a privileged authority since January 1, 1993, under the Federal Railways Act of 1992.

After the end of World War II, 41 % of the rail network of the OeBB was inoperative, 381 bridges had been destroyed, two thirds of the vehicle fleet could not be used. Along with the reconstruction of the railway system, the electrification of the rail network was continued; in 1945 1,001 km had electric traction (in 1937: 918 km), by 1963 more than 2,000 km, by the beginning of 1998 3,418 km. In 1997 around 2.1 billion kWh of electricity (single-phase/alternating current with a special frequency of 16.66 Hertz) generated by 14 hydroelectric power stations (of which 7 are owned by the OeBB) were consumed. Additionally, around 43,000 tons of diesel fuel, 1,400 tons of hard coal and coke were burned in 1997. In the same year, ATS 8.6 bn was invested in the railway network: 450 points were renewed, 41 bridges were revitalised, 297 km of new rails and 253 km of new sleepers were laid.

The OeBB has shares in the following enterprises: Anlagen-, Bau- und Service GmbH, Austria Rail Engineering (consultants), Oesterreichische Eisenbahn-, Transport-, Planungs- und Beratungsges.m.b.H., BD Gastservice GmbH, Bureau Central de clearing s.c.r.l., CRL Car Rail Logistic GmbH, CI & M Werbeagentur GmbH, EC Logistik GmbH, EURATEL - European Railway Telecommunications EWIV, EUROFIMA Europaeische Gesellschaft fuer die Finanzierung von Eisenbahnmaterial AG, Euro Rail Invest Ltd., HIT RAIL B. V., Intercontainer Austria GmbH; Intercontainer Interfrigo GenmbH, "KOeB" Kraftwagenbetrieb der Oesterreichischen Bundesbahnen GmbH, Niederoesterreichische Schneebergbahn GmbH, OeBB Telekom Service GmbH, OeKOMBI - Oesterreichische Gesellschaft fuer den Kombinierten Verkehr GmbH & Co KG; OeKOMBI - Waggonbetriebsgesellschaft m. b. H., Oesterreichische Verkehrskreditbank AG, "Probat" Bahnhof Linz Projektentwicklungs GmbH, "Rail Cargo Austria S. r. l.", Rail Tours Touristik GmbH, Rail Trans Invest Ltd., STEEL - Stahlwaggon GmbH, tele.ring Telekom Service GmbH & Co KG, tele.ring Telekom Service GmbH, WELLCON Gesellschaft fuer Praevention und Arbeitsmedizin GmbH. The OeBB operates passenger shipping services on Lake Constance and on Lake Wolfgang; it is a member of the International Union of Railways (UIC) founded in 1922.

The OeBB is the largest Austrian enterprise for goods traffic, international traffic communications and long-distance traffic within Austria. In 1997 the number of employees was 55,923; the OeBB has a separate health and social insurance system.

Scientific institutions: Archives for Transport and Communications in Vienna (set up in 1897 under the name of "Oesterreichisches Eisenbahnerarchiv" (Austrian Railways Archive), since 1947 part of the Austrian National Archives), library of the central administration of the OeBB in Vienna (130,000 vols., set up in 1896).

Statistical data as of 1997:

Track length: 5,672 km

Vehicle fleet: 717 electric locomotives, 471 diesel locomotives, 17 steam locomotives, 355 railcars, 3,315 passenger cars, 19,528 freight cars

Passengers carried (in 1,000): 183,897

Goods carried (in 1,000 tons): 74,347

OeBB Coach transport (in 1997):

Passengers carried (in 1,000): 92,561