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Update on Austria train travel

Does anyone know if the situation at the Vienna train stations has changed due to migrant issues? Can you travel to Prague from here?

Posted by
18228 posts

The German Rail website still shows all rail traffic cancelled between Salzburg Hbf and Germany. Express (EC/IC) and night trains (EN) don't seem to be running at all between Salzburg and Munich. Regional trains (Meridian) are running between Munich and Freilassing, but not to/from Salzburg.

The website says something about this situation lasting until 23:59 on October 4, but the schedule for October 5 still shows the trains cancelled.

Posted by
6447 posts

Of course it is, as safe as traveling around anywhere in Europe or US for that matter. It's not like the city is under siege by the migrants, most of them are just trying to pass through Austria and the sheer numbers of them are putting a bit of a strain on the transportation systems of the entry countries. Trains to certain places (other countries in EU) may be a bit of a challenge but not impossible and not unsafe.

Posted by
1 posts

We were at the Vienna Hbf a few hours ago. In the east end of the station, where the migrants are patiently waiting, we had no trouble using a machine to pick up pre-paid tickets. It was very crowded, but we felt safe.
In our four days here, we have seen thousands of tourists, many of student age, enjoying Vienna as we have. I trust that many have been impressed by the outpouring of support for the migrants by the Viennese, including providing hot meals at the station.

Posted by
66 posts

Not sure this site is the best for realistic travel news for Salzburg. Read the Salzbugh newspapers online. Tourist dollars are at risk so the news stays soft. Crime is up in Austria, possibly our days in Salzburg will be cancelled.

Posted by
6447 posts

The OP is asking about Vienna to Prague, I don't see any question about Salzburg. And par.pas.75, I'm not putting you down but I don't think your answer is very helpful. If you read that crime is up in Salzburg it probably means it's about 20% what it is in most US cities, rather than 10%. I've not read anything about any drastic crime waves anywhere in Austria, even with the migrant crisis.

Posted by
1167 posts

At present the interruption of rail service between Salzburg and Freilassing - as well as long distance trains between Munich and Salzburg - has been extended till Oct. 12th, 2015. This is official news, I have read on newspapers and the OeBB website.

My personal opinion: do not wait for Oct. 13th for the service to resume.

Posted by
6502 posts

We trained from Vienna to Prague a couple of weeks ago with no problems. The Westbahnhof and Hauptbahnhoff are full of refugees and so it was virtually impossible to do business at ticket windows. And our cards don't work in the machines. In order to book a side trip to Melk we went to a small out of the way train station where the wait was 10 or 15 minutes. It would have been simply impossible to do this at the two main stations above. But other than that there were no issues.

The two couples across from us had their wallets with considerable money picked in the line to get on the train in Vienna (conductors found the wallets in the trash on the train but of course the money was gone and they had cancelled their cards by this time) This of course has nothing to do with refugees and is business as usual in any crowded European venue -- museums, metros, train stations etc.

Posted by
3396 posts

Currently traveling through Scandinavia , and refugees at all major rail stations ( Helsinki , Stockholm , Oslo , Copenhagen ) . Everything very peaceful , and refugee aid groups providing help and necessities .

Posted by
13391 posts

I am really surprised about the pickpocketing in Austria. We had an acquaintance last year who got his wallet lifted in a Vienna tram. He felt it and caught the girl that did it. What he was most amazed by was than no one in the tram would help him. But he did get his wallet back with money intact, and the next stop the young lady just pranced off the tram.

Posted by
4637 posts

I have lived here for 8 years and I have never been pick pocketed. I do not consider Vienna to have a significant problem with this by any stretch of the imagination.

Posted by
67 posts

I just spent two weeks in Vienna. I can confirm it's perfectly safe for all travelers of all ages and stripes. I had no trouble as a woman (alone) or with my husband. We saw lots of adults and children traveling, students, and even tweens navigating just fine.

The only real places you'll see the migrants are at the hauptbahnhofs (main railway stations) - Westbahnhof and Sudbahnhof are the two ones that I mostly saw them at. The migrants are respectful, polite, and clearly doing their best in a difficult situation. They won't harass you. They aren't out to cause trouble. I was amazed that such a large number of people under extremely trying circumstances were able to maintain their dignity and composure.

Posted by
2487 posts

Yesterday the Deutsche Bahn had the message the trains were going again, and the disruption would be limited to extra border checks. But the situation can change, of course, for better or for worse. Keep you yourself informed at www.bahn.de

Posted by
12759 posts

Hi,

So far, assuming I've not missed any salient information, the stretch from Salzburg to Munich is affected by the closure...off and on. To get to Germany or Austria from where you are, I would flank it by going north to Passau for the border crossing (Grenzübergang) especially if you want catch an ICE train later. You're considering going Vienna to Prague? What about the night train option? It's direct and is not impacted by the migrant issue.

Posted by
178 posts

We were in Vienna earlier this month. We rented an apartment that was a quick 8 minute ride to the Opera stop. One time, many obvious "refugees" got onto our UBahn at a stop that connects with one of the train stations. Everyone knew who they were but I didn't feel threatened. We wear money belts all the time and DH has his Tilley travelling pants with the secret pockets. It amazes me though at how people don't seem to take precautions in the tourist areas.Other than that,we didn't see any "refugees" anywhere in the popular tourist areas of Vienna

Posted by
12759 posts

The main difference is that the masses of these migrants are not Turks...but understood.

See Prinz Eugen statue in Vienna in front of the Hofburg with the other hero, the Archduke Charles of 1809 fame nearby.

Prinz Eugen has another statue of him in Budapest ,ie located on Castle Hill in front of the National Gallery, which was the Habsburg Royal Palace on Castle Hill.

Posted by
2462 posts

Our direct train from Munich to Vienna was cancelled "by the police" (as we were told) on 28 October, and we were re-booked to Vienna via Salzburg. I was worried about what would happen, but we went straight to Salzburg, changed trains, and made it to Vienna Westbahnhof only an hour after the original scheduled time. No one asked to see our passports. However, we were sitting next to a Russian mother and son duo, who happened to be in the wrong coach. A conductor demanded to see their tickets and passports and sent them to a second class coach. The conductor didn't even ask to see our tickets - for some reason he zeroed in on them. I felt bad because my husband and I, and the other Americans sitting close by, were conversing with them. Maybe the conductor thought they looked like refugees. I'm not sure what a refugee looks like, but in our 6 wonderful days in Vienna, I didn't even see anyone that looked disheveled. I didn't take any precautions beyond what I would take anywhere in the states.

Posted by
12759 posts

@ traylaparks...Most likely, the conductor didn't "zero in " on you (and hubby) is because he spotted you out as Americans. That would be my guess. Did he ask the other Americans who conversed with this Russian mother/son pair for their tickets and passports?

Posted by
4637 posts

Austrian authorities are experts in racial profiling. I know from vast experience. Pretty hard to live here if you don't look "right" - lots of hassle.

Posted by
12759 posts

Thanks, and interesting too. Then they were intentionally singled out.

Posted by
18228 posts

As of today, Sun, Nov 8, the German Rail website shows only Meridian regional trains traveling into and out of Salzburg. There are warnings about border control. They are asking people departing from Salzburg to be 15 minutes early.

It looks like RailJets only go as far as Salzburg in Austria. The rest of the trips to/from Munich is cancelled.

Some EuroCity (EC) trains to/from Munich are originating in or ending in Freilassing; others are originating/ending in Munich.

There also seems to be an S-Bahn between Salzburg and Freilassing running normally.

Posted by
207 posts

We leave tomorrow from BudaPest on Rail Jet originally booked to go to Munich. Now Rail Jet stops in Salzburg and we have been told that we will go thru passport control and then get on a Meridian regional train to Munich. This was told to us in Munich by a DB Infor center. We could miss the train but there are others he said.

Does anyone have recent experience going from Salzburg to Munich on Meridian or how to get to Munich from Salzburg if we get stuck? We fly out of Munich on Monday.

Kathy

Posted by
12759 posts

@ Gene...Aside from his statue in front of the Hofburg, Prinz Eugen is also honored, at least, indirectly in Vienna am Deutschmeisterplatz. He is not shown but his battle that started the momentum of victories against the Turks is depicted....battle of Zenta, which is decribed as Taufefeuer. (baptism of fire)