On December 13, 2015 Vienna Main Station started operating at full capacity. Consequently, all of the long-distance train services operated by Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), including those on the west line, stop at Wien Meidling and Hauptbahnhof. ÖBB Railjet, Intercity, Eurocity and Euronight services serving western routes connect to the south, north and eastern lines here. This means that virtually every long-distance destination served by ÖBB can now be reached from any direction with just a single change. There are also twice-hourly long-distance trains between the new Main Station and Vienna International Airport. The Westbahnhof station is only used for regional and Schnellbahn rapid transit services as well as the trains between Vienna and Salzburg run by independent operator Westbahn.
The decision to operate all ÖBB long-distance routes via Hauptbahnhof and Wien Meidling has given rise to new connections and shorter journey times. Connections between long-distance services as well as for local and regional trains have also been simplified. Now it is possible to travel from Salzburg to Bratislava with just a single change at Hauptbahnhof. The changeover has also brought considerable time savings on some routes. Moving long-distance routes on the western line from Westbahnhof to Wien Meidling/Wien Hauptbahnhof has shaved 7 minutes off the ÖBB Railjet service between Salzburg and Vienna (from 2 hours and 22 minutes to 2 hours and 15 minutes), while the savings on the Linz-Budapest route add up to a full 30 minutes.
ÖBB offers various services for travelers at Hauptbahnhof, from ticket sales and support at the travel center to a lounge and travel agency. 22 ticket machines and free WiFi complete the passenger experience. Hauptbahnhof is also home to 90 stores and restaurants. The hub has excellent links to the capital’s public transportation network, with St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the heart of the old town just three stops away on the U1 subway line. It is also served by five S-Bahn rapid transit lines, three tram routes (18, D, O) and two bus services (13A, 69A). The Vienna Tourist Board operates a tourist information office at the Main Station for visitors to the capital, which is open daily from 9am to 7pm.
All ÖBB long-distance services (Railjet, ÖBB Intercity, Eurocity, Euronight trains) that travel to and from Hauptbahnhof also call at Wien Meidling, which offers connections to southern and western routes and access to the capital’s public transportation network (U6 subway line, five S-Bahn rapid transit lines, Badner Bahn services to Baden, a tram route and seven bus services). A new ÖBB travel center with ticket sales and support for travelers, a new ÖBB lounge and 14 ticket machines will open at Wien Meidling on December 13, 2015.
At present the influx of refugees has largely moved away from Vienna to other parts of the country. Although the capital’s railway stations are very busy, the situation remains very well organized. Visitor should not expect any restrictions or disruptions when arriving by air, during their stay in Vienna, when taking trips to tourist attractions or when using the city’s public transportation network.