Alpine Railways: Austria was one of the pioneers in the construction of railways in mountain regions; the Semmering Railway was the first alpine railway in the world. Many Austrian experts contributed to the development of alpine railways: the engine designers W. Engerth, J. Haswell, G. Sigl and K. Goelsdorf, the railway expert A. Negrelli, the designer of Semmering railway, K. von Ghega, the tunnelling expert, F. Rziha, and the bridge builders G. A. Wayss and J. Melan. Alpine railways either cross passes (Brenner railway, 1867) or pass through a summit tunnel (Semmering, 1854) through the upper part of the mountains; some gradually wind up the slopes of lateral valleys to higher regions, with the tunnel close to the pass (1884 Arlberg tunnel, 10 km long), some lead through long base tunnels, such as the Tauern railway (1905, Tauern tunnel, 8.5 km long) and the Karawanken railway (1906, Karawanken tunnel, 8 km long). Other important alpine railways are the Mariazell railway (1906, electrified 1911) and Mittenwald railway (1912) near Innsbruck. In more recent times, Mountain Railways have been built to meet the demands of growing tourism (cog railways, funiculars, cableways and lifts).
Literature#M. Hoefierer, Die Elektrifizierung der Alpenbahnen, doctoral thesis, Vienna 1945; A. Schweiger-Lerchenfeld and E. Born, Die Ueberschienung der Alpen (1884), 1983.