International passenger

trains in 20th Century Europe

International passenger trains in 20th Century Europe

The Tauernbahn route

This became an important route to the Balkans from Southern Germany and the ports of Hoek van Holland and Ostend. The change of boundaries in the Julian Alps after 1920 resulted in the Tauernbahn crossing Yugoslavia to access Italy. One effect of this was to divert Italian-bound services  from Trieste to Tarvisio but in the meantime it was the route of important expresses heading for the Dalmatian Coast and South Eastern Europe using the link from Jesenice to Ljubljana.


This line  provided an important bridge between two main lines -  the Orient route's Arlberg link from Wien to Innsbrück and Zürich and the Simplon Orient spine at Ljubljana. Originally the Tauernbahn was built to provide the Austro-Hungarian Empire with access to the Adriatic port of Trieste providing an export route for goods from Bavaria to the Adriatic. But there was a track gap between Schwarzach-St Veit and Spital Millstättersee in Kärnten, Austria. In 1909 this gap was filled  with the opening of the Tauern Tunnel. This provided a through route from München to Trieste and Beograd via Villach, and Jesenice  in Yugoslavia.


With the closure of the Italo-Slovene border to train traffic in 2011, The Tauernbahn regained its former importance as a route from Western Europe to Yugoslavia via Villach and Ljubljana.


Traffic on the Tauernbahn Orient routes

A1-7 Tauernbahn

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