International passenger

trains in 20th Century Europe

International passenger trains in 20th Century Europe

C: Warszawa-Roma

The Warszawa-Roma spine afforded a north-east-south-west direction. It was a spine of two distinct sections - Warszawa-Wien and Wien-Roma. It was the sole example of a route on this axis which maintained its importance throughout the century.


The route from Wien to Warszawa was developed early when the Austrian Kaiser Ferdinand Nordbahn reached Bohumin near the then Austro-Hungarian-Russian border in 1847. In 1845 the Russians started to construct a southward link from Warszawa which reached Bohumin in 1847.  In 1848, a connection from Opole to Bohumin via Chałupki was finished which gave connections to Berlin from Wien. The main traffic on Nordbahn route connected Wien with Berlin, Warszawa and Bucureşti.

The Sϋdbahn to Trieste

By the 1840s, the need to export goods from the Austro-Hungarian Empire required more direct access to the major seaport of that time – Trieste on the Adriatic Sea. This required new trackage south from Wien. The first track section was completed between Wien and Gloggnitz in 1842. The remainder of the route from Mürzzuschlag to Graz, Maribor, Ljubljana and Trieste was, completed by the Imperial government in 1857. This left a gap consisting of the Semmering Pass between Gloggnitz and Mürzzuschlag which was closed with the opening of the Semmering Railway between 1848 and 1854. In 1858 these lines were sold to the private Südbahn Gesellschaft, which constructed another line from Maribor to Klagenfurt ,Villach and Western Austria.

After World War I Trieste fell to Italy in 1921 and in 1923 the remaining Austrian part of the Südbahn was nationalized. The Hungarian part of the Südbahn was incorporated into the Hungarian state system in 1923 but the portion of the Südbahn which now crossed Yugoslav territory was transferred to the Yugoslav system.

The Semmering route predominated for Wien-Italy traffic. Apart from line re-engineering little changed except that the Italian/Austrian border changed from Pontebba to Tarvisio.

Sϋdbahn after 1921

Warszawa-Roma services International passenger trains in 20th Century Europe

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