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First type of Mödling and Hinterbrühl tramcars, bipolar overhead line

Mödling and Hinterbrühl Tram or Mödling and Hinterbrühl Local Railway (German: Lokalbahn Mödling–Hinterbrühl') was an electric tramway of 4.5 km of length in Austria, that worked from October 1883 to March 1932. It was the first tram and railway in the world that was run with electricity served by an overhead line in permanent service. It was the first electric tram and railway in Austria, and it was the first ones installed for definitive service.

The permission had been granted in 1882. The tram was built an run by the Südbahngesellschaft (Austrian private Southern Railway Company) that owned the main line from Vienna to Trieste, including the standard gauge railway station of Mödling.

The electric traction was chosen due to the condition, that for lack of space part of the trackway had to be laid on public roads. The metre gauge single track rail of the tram had several turn outs. The overhead line was bipolar and consisted of two dowmwards open tubes, in which the two pantographs hang like aerial trams. This technique had been introduced by Ernst Werner von Siemens in his experimental Elektromote. After a test on October 18, 1883, the regular service in the first section between Mödling and Vorderbrühl Valley started on October 22, 1883. As a condition for permitting the traffic through the narrow part of the valley in 1884, the authorities ordered the availability of a steam engine as emergency traction. In 1885 the line was accomplished to Hinterbrühl.

In 1903, the line was modernized and the bipolar overhead line was replaced by an unipolar wire. The new pantographs were lyra-shaped. Since 1912, the revenues had exeeded the expenses.

In 1927 a bus service was installed in the valley. The competition became dangerous for both. In 1923 the Austrian federal Ministery for Trade and Traffic decided, that the tramline had to be closed down. The last tram on the line ran on march 31, 1932.

See also

List of town tramway systems in Europe


  • Manfred Hohn, Dieter Stanfel, Hellmuth R. Figlhuber: Mödling–Hinterbrühl. Die erste elektrische Bahn Europas für Dauerbetrieb. Verlag Slezak, Wien 1983, ISBN 3-85416-079-8.
  • 100 Jahre elektrische Bahn Mödling - Hinterbrühl. Festschrift. Medilihha, Schriftenreihe des Bezirks-Museums-Vereines Mödling . 2. Aufl., Bezirks-Museums-Verein, Mödling 1983. [1]
  • Wolfgang Kaiser: Straßenbahnen in Österreich. GeraMond Verlag, München 2004, ISBN 3-7654-7198-4.


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