MUSEUM OF RAILWAY FRIENDS, SÜDBAHN HEIZHAUS RAILWAY SHED, LIENZ
The Engine Shed in Lienz is home to the Museum of Railway Friends. The shed, which was originally built for maintaining steam locomotives, dates back to the time of the Villach – Fortezza/Franzensfeste (South Tyrol) railway line, which was put into operation in 1871 and ran for approx. 212 km.
At the time, a technical era that would revolutionise the economy and society in the truest sense of the word began in the region. It was kick-started by simple machinery, water and coal. To a great extent, we owe our current standard of living not least to the ingenuity and achievements of this time.
The architect Wilhelm von Flattich – who was responsible for the buildings along the Brennero and Puster Valley Railway at the time – built a three-track and 94-metre long building with two annexes in Lienz, and an additional round house with a turntable for steam locomotives. The shed stood here until 1945. During World War 2 the roundhouse was completely destroyed, and the long shed was badly damaged. Only a small section of the roundhouse has been rebuilt and the turntable has been removed, but the long shed has been fully restored. In around 1942, a further turntable was built in the area near to the coal depots, which still exists today and is protected as a technical monument.
The stationing of the diesel locomotives of ÖBB Series 2045 in Lienz in around 1954 triggered the smooth transition from steam to diesel engines, which was finally completed with the withdrawal of steam locomotive 92.2271 in 1965. The diesel era ended in 1989, when the electrification of the Spittal-Millstättersee – Fortezza/Franzensfeste was completed. This therefore meant that after 118 years, the need to station and maintain locomotives in Lienz came to an end, as the electric ÖBB locomotives currently in use are stationed and maintained in Villach and Innsbruck.
Today, the boiler house in Lienz is a listed building which houses the Verein der Eisenbahnfreunde in Lienz (Railway Friends in Lienz). The group operates the Museum of Railway Friends, Lienz. The large building is home to rare examples of 19th century steam-powered locomotives, some of which are still operational. Visitors can climb aboard all of them. As well as the older steam locomotives, several diesel and electric engines, and special vehicles such as cranes and silo cars for grain transport are on show. Various trucks and freight wagons round off the collection.
Photos: Sonja Notdurfter