DThe Taurachbahn starts a few metres above the station of Tamsweg at km 66.000 of the Murtalbahn. The line is locked at that place and it can be unlocked only by the station supervisor of the station in Tamsweg (StLB). The line crosses some meadows until it reaches the former stop "St. Andrä - Wölting". A connection to a former factory of the Princes of Schwarzenberg, which was pulled down but the switch being left, is now used for bringing the engine from one end of the train to the other in a rather curious way. A new trunk rail was built, long enough to place the locomotives there. The train arriving from Mauterndorf stops before passing the switch. The hand breaks are fastened and the engine is taken from the train and put to the trunk. Afterwards the hand breaks are opened and the train rolls downhill until it passes the switch. The engine is set on the other end of the train and the journey back can start.
After climbing a rather steep ramp and passing the fatal place with
the bridge being demolished in 1980, the train arrives at the stop of
"St. Andrä-Andlwirt". This stop is the terminus of
the passenger services from Mauterndorf. The passengers, who arrive
here have the possibility to spend the time till the train will go back
either by visiting the near restaurant "Andlwirt, which has an
excellent service and is well-known for its Austrian cuisine, or by
wandering on different ways (for example to the former medieval place
of executions) with beautiful views into the Lungau.
After the departure from "St. Andrä-Andlwirt" the train passes the about 700 metres of new constructed line. Passing pastures the train is heading for the next stop, "Lintsching". After the stop the 1st railway level crossing follows, which is protected by barriers. The barriers were closed and opened by the train staff. Then going along a gravel pit, large fields and a tremendous hiking area it leaves a chain of hills behind. Then a short time before arriving the station of Mariapfarr the line crosses the Taurach river using a bridge which is the longest on the line and the train reaches by going on a large curve the station "Mariapfarr".
The idyllic station of "Mariapfarr" is very typical for these type of narrow gauge branch lines. It has two tracks and four switches, the station building and the magazine are in a rather good and original condition. If you're standing at that station and seing the far distance to the village you can understand why the passenger service has had no chance on that former part of the Murtal Railway. Mariapfarr is the oldest village of the Lungau and was a famous place of pilgrimage in former times. The village is well-known too because the father of Josef Mohr, who has written the lyrics of the famous christmas song "Silent Night, Holy Night", was born there. The house, an old farm house,is still standing there. Josef Mohr himself was a short time pastor of Mariapfarr. After crossing the national road (protected by barriers) the ride is going along the Taurach river and then passes through the village of Pichl. After climbing an other rather steep ramp it arrives at the stop in "Gröbendorf". At this stop you have the greatest view all around the valley of the Lungau. You can see the mountains, the village and the church of Mariapfarr) on the opposite side. Some fish ponds full with trout (the water is so clear, you can see them from the train!) and a children playground are around the scenery after leaving the stop. Then the line is passing a wild romantic mountain forest. But among the volunteers there is nothing like romance coming up when thinking of that forest as the trees are growing rather fast and the miraculous thing about is, the closer to the railway they are, the faster they seem to grow! As a result there is a lots of woodwork to do. After leaving the forest, the line passes an other fields and pastures and soon the castle of Mauterndorf can be seen, standing above the village. After passing the glider's shed there is a last ramp and a bending into the terminating station of "Mauterndorf".
Station Mauterndorf. Photo: Walter Strubel
Engine Shed Mauterndorf. Photo: Walter Strubel
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