The Taurach Railway is located in the Lungau (Salzburgerland), a plateau surrounded by the mountains "Radstädter Tauern" in the north, the mountains " Hohen Tauern" in the west and the Nock mountains in the south. Named is this narrow gauge railway after a clear mountain river coming down from the tremendous massive of the Tauern Mountains.
Originally the Taurach Railway was a part of the 1894 built Murtal
Railway. From the beginning this part was put in a disadvantage. The
line was laid far away from the villages (for example Mariapfarr). Primarily
the Taurach Railway of today was a part of the Murtal Railway built
in 1894. But from the beginning on that part between Tamsweg and Mauterndorf
was a disadvantaged one. The route has been built far away from the
localities (for example Mariapfarr). That was the reason, that the numbers
of passengers had been always very small on that part and on March 23rd,
1973, the Murtal Railway stopped the operation of passenger trains of
that part. Only the daily freight trains on week days went transporting
timber and agricultural goods. Beside that freight trains some special
steam passenger trains were operated til 1977. The end of all operations
on that part of the Murtal railway was June 9th, 1980, when a truck,
which was to high, tried to pass under the railway bridge near St. Andrä.
The truck crashed against it and the bridge was so badly damaged, that
no train could pass it and the Murtal Railway closed down that part
of its line between Tamsweg and Mauterndorf on September 1st, 1981.
The Club 760, which had expected the close down before that accident,
has founded the "Taurach Railway Study Society" with the aim
to rent that part of the line after the close down. The negotiations
lasted two years and on May 18th, 1982, the lease contract could be
With hard works the line between Tamsweg and Mauterndorf was reconstructed and in the west of St. Andrä a new route of about one kilometer (=0.6 mile) was built. In June 1983 the repair of the damaged railway bridge was finished and in August 1983 the steam locomotive 699.01 passed the new bridge first. But the list of all the works, which must be done to start a regular operation on the Taurach Railway seemed to be endless, but on October 26th the first steam special train went on whole line of the Taurach Railway.
In 1983 the "Taurach Railway Study Society" was named "Taurach Railway Company" to demonstrate, that the time of regular operations will be near.Rivers of sweat floated down from the foreheads of all working friends during all the works: the weed between the tracks had to be abolished, warning signals had to be posted, buildings and vehicles had to be overhauled and much more. All that works and efforts has our friend Alfred Niel, who passed way to early, discribed in his brochure "Der Lungau und seine Bahn". In July the "Taurach Railway Company" has gotten the license for railway operations by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Traffic and on July 9th, 1988, the operation of the Taurach railway has started and the first train left Mauterndorf accompanied by a great party. So in the months June until September every summer steam passenger trains run between Mauterndorf and St. Andrä. The center of operations is the station Mauterndorf. The station building is also the lodging for the staff of the Taurach Railway. All the members of the staff are unsalaried. All the members of the operational staff have the necessary examinations and licenses. Because all of that people have to work in a regular profession to live, the trains of the Taurach Railway can only run in the summer time during the vacations. This is guaranteed by the untiring work of the managers of the Taurach Railway, Mr. August Zopf, who is responsible for administration, Mr. Gunter Mackinger, who is responsible for the operation and his substitute Mr. Peter Gruber.
The station Mauterndorf is a complete ensemble of a classic terminal of a light railway.
It is indeed a harmonic addendum of the historical a appearance of the community Mauterndorf, espesially in the summer, when trains begin to steame and whistle as it used to be during the time of our grand parents.
In autumn 1999 the new hall near the station Mauterndorf was built and now the vehicles of the Taurachbahn can be parked during the winter protected against rain, snow and wind. Before the vehicles had to be transferred to the Museum Frojach. In the meantime the station buildings and tracks of Mauterndorf and Mariapfarr are completely renovated.
Nobody can count the number of hours, which all the active people of the Taurachbahn has spend over the years to keep the line save and to guarantee all the operations. We want to thank here all that guys spending holidays and vacations, the engineers, the conductors, evryone from the club management til the youngest friends, who are still pupils. Thanks to everyone of them. Especially we want to thank all the many passengers, who have gone with our trains and we hope, that the ride on our steam trains has been a special event for them. When our guests enjoy the travel through the Lungau and when the eyes of children are shining in view of the steaming locomotive, I only can say, that this is the best and most beautiful thank and pay for all the members of the Taurach Railway staff.
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