Railway, Horse-drawn: The construction of the first railway on the European continent and the world's longest horse-drawn railway from Budweis (Ceske Budejovice, southern Bohemia) to Linz started in Austria in 1825 according to drafts by F. A. von Gerstner (length: 128 km, gauge: 110.6 cm). Operations to Linz began in 1832. Important experience on the construction of mountain railways (Semmering Railway) was gained during construction. Between 1834-1836 the line was extended to Gmunden via Lambach (68 km); on this section steam engines were used from 1855/56 onwards; between Linz and Lambach, however, the line was replaced by the Kaiserin-Elisabeth-(West-)Bahn railway in 1859/60. The section Linz- Budweis was converted to standard gauge for steam engines in 1872/73, between Lambach and Gmunden standard gauge was not introduced until 1903.
From the second half of the 19th century onwards horse-drawn railways were only built for urban local transport (horse-drawn tramway): 1865 in Vienna (where a second company started operating in 1872), 1873 Baden, 1878 Graz, 1880 Linz, 1891 Klagenfurt, 1892 Salzburg. Between 1894 and 1910 these horse-drawn tramways were electrified. In 1977 a museum horse-drawn tramway was opened in Klagenfurt. A museum for horse-drawn railways was established in a former station house of the Linz-Budweis horse-drawn railway in Kerschbaum (municipality of Rainbach im Mühlviertel) in 1996; one museum train still operates on part of the track for visitors.
Literature: F. Pfeffer and G. Kleinhanns, Budweis- Linz- Gmunden, Pferdeeisenbahn und Dampfbetrieb, 1982; P. Gaider et al., 150 Jahre Pferdeeisenbahn Linz- Budweis, exhibition catalogue, Stadtmuseum Linz 1982; K. H. Knauer, Die Pferdeeisenbahn Linz- Budweis, exhibition catalogue, Vienna Museum of Technology 1983.
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