We want to take a train from Budapest to Salzburg and would like to stop at Mauthausen for a few hours. Is this possible? Do we need to buy separate tickets or can we do HOHO? Thanks in advance.
The sort of train one would normally take between major destinations like Budapest and Salzburg would generally not stop at a small place like Mauthausen. You will need to transfer at some point to a regional train to get to Mauthausen, and you'll need to take a regional train again as you leave.
The best I can tell from a quick look at the Deutsche Bahn website (really should use the Austrian rail website instead), you would probably overshoot Mauthausen and travel initially to Linz, where you'd change to a Railjet for the short trip to St. Valentin. At St. Valentin you'd pick up a regional train to Mauthausen. So it would take 3 trains to get there and another three trains when you're ready to go on to Salzburg.
It appears the camp/memorial is about 2.5 miles from the train station. Google Maps says there's bus service. I do not know where you would be able to leave your luggage. Googling luggage storage Mauthausen might bear fruit.
From casual checking of internet sources it seems all the necessary transportation for this detour runs relatively frequently on weekdays. Still, I think you'll find that it turns a 5-1/4 hour straightforward journey into at least a 9-to-10 hour trip. Some bad luck with connection times could easily push it to close to 12 hours.
I don't mean to discourage you from seeing Mauthausen; it's just going to be a long day if you do it en route from Budapest to Salzburg.
I don't know whether it would be possible to plan a long layover in Linz so you could buy a single ticket straight through to Salzburg, but given all the moving parts involved (2 additional trains plus either a bus or a taxi in each direction) and the difficulty of predicting how much time you'd want to spend at the memorial site, I wouldn't know how long a layover to plan for.
Probably best to buy the advance online ticket from Budapest to Linz. Then take the bus from Linz to Mauthausen (about an hour, buy the ticket at the station upon arrival in Linz, store your bags in Linz)), then take a taxi from the Mauthausen station to the memorial site. Do the reverse back to Linz and then take the next Westbahn train to Salzburg (buy tickets on the train, there is frequent service).
On. Thanks for this info. I was thinking maybe we could do Budapest to Vienna, Vienna to St. Valentin, spend a few hours at Mauthausen & then St. Valentin to Salzburg. Just didn't know if we had to do all separate train bookings or if we could just buy one ticket from Vienna to Salzburg, with a HOHO at St. Valentin.
Regular fare train tickets for distances of more than 100km (60 miles) sold by OeBB have a validity of 2 days. So you may interrupt your travel at any stop, stay even one night, and continue your journey.
Practical all express trains do not stop at St. Valentin, and absolutely none at Mauthausen, just a simple HOHO is not possible.
Follow Emily's advice: Budapest - Linz - Mauthausen - Linz - Salzburg (leave your luggage at Linz Hbf).
That could be your schedule:
6:40am departure Budapest (RJX 162)
10:44am arrival Linz (unfortunately the faster REX train to Mauthausen has departed 10:38am)
11:.05am departure bus 361 to Mauthausen
11:54am arrival Mauthausen
4:05pm departure bus 361 or 3:59pm REX train to Linz
4:28pm, 4:32pm, 4:46pm, 4:58pm, etc. departure to Salzburg
Note that this schedule is to make the most out of your day, i.e. not to waste time unnecessarily.
To optimize this for the cheapest possible fare is very tricky, because there are so many different options. It can be cheaper to buy separate tickets for Budapest-Vienna and Vienna-Linz instead of Budapest-Linz. You can save money by changing trains in Vienna, either by going with Westbahn or a (German) ICE which offers Sparschiene tickets to Linz for €9. You must check what MAV charges for Budapest-Salzburg regular fare to have the interrupt option in Linz. And so on. If you want to do the math, it is OK. But I doubt that spending three hours to save maybe €30 is worth the effort.
I wonder whether there is a computer software available which can figure all this out after having entered your requirements, similar to what exists for airline tickets.