Steam in Austria and Silesia

Friday 7th August to Saturday 15th August 2020
9 - Days


Prices from: £1895


Experience main line steam in the Austrian Alps and narrow-gauge steam in the picturesque Czech countryside on this relaxing summer holiday tour.


Departure Date: 07-Aug-2020
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  • Based in the vibrant cities of Vienna in Austria and Ostrava in Moravian Silesia, you’ll enjoy sightseeing tours in both with a ride on the Prater Ferris Wheel in Vienna and the Dolni Vitkovice cultural park in Ostrava.
  • Exciting narrow-gauge steam highlights include the annual steam gala at the Gurkthalbahn in Carinthia, two remote narrow-gauge steam railways in the Czech Republic, and steam at the 15-inch Prater Park railway in Vienna.
  • Experience mighty main line freight locomotives on private charters both in Austria and Poland, behind the recently refurbished tender locos 52.4984 and Ty42-24.
  • Enjoy big engine steam at the Strasshof railway museum near Vienna as an added attraction and visit the site of the incredible wooden Gliwice Radio Tower in Poland, where World War II was triggered.

Friday 7th August
Arrive to Vienna
This morning you fly from London to Vienna, arriving in Austria’s capital city by mid-day. You check into a centrally located quality hotel and have a warm lunch. For the rest of the day you are free to take advantage of your complimentary public transport rover ticket and discover the sights and scenes of Vienna at leisure. (L)

Saturday 8th August
Sightseeing Vienna; Prater Ferris Wheel; Steam at the Prater Railway and Strasshof Railway Museum
After breakfast, you enjoy a private charter tram trip around Vienna’s historic city centre and along the famous Ring Road, seeing the principal landmarks, including the Imperial Palace, State Opera House and Houses of Parliament. Your tour concludes with a ride on the Prater Ferris Wheel, built by British engineers in 1899. You then traverse the adjacent 15-inch steam railway, hauled by a vintage 1920s ‘Pacific’ type 4-6-2 locomotive through the Prater Gardens on this 4 km long 1920s park railway. An OBB service train then takes you from nearby Praterstern station to Strasshof, site of Austria’s largest steam locomotive collection. After lunch in Strasshof, you’ll have a full tour of the museum grounds, including a ride on one of the local tender locomotives. In late afternoon you return to Vienna by local train, with more time to explore this vibrant city. (B L)

Sunday 9th August
Semmering Railway and Steam Gala at the Gurkthalbahn in Carinthia
Today you travel in the Austrian Alps over the scenic Semmering Railway from Vienna to Carinthia. This is Europe’s first trans-Alpine railway, built between 1848 and 1854 and now classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its impressively engineered stone-arched viaducts, seamlessly blending into the mountain landscape. In the late morning you arrive in southern Austria, where the rural Gurkthalbahn narrow-gauge railway is staging its annual steam gala today. It’s a wonderful opportunity to experience several steam locomotives in service, through the rural landscape of Carinthia. You have lunch at the railway and are given a tour of the local steam shed. In the afternoon you return to Vienna by way of the Semmering railway. (B L)

Monday 10th August
Main line steam with 52.4984 to Gutenstein and Mattersburg
A tour highlight awaits today, as you enjoy a first day of main line steam travel in the hills south of Vienna. Motive power is provided by the large 2-10-0 freight locomotive 52.4984, which only just returned to active service in late 2019. Formerly in use with OBB, the big tender locomotive will haul your private charter train from Turmau via Wiener Neustadt on the idyllic branch line to Gutenstein, where steam traction rarely ventures. Lunch will be served in the buffet car on the train. You then continue from Gutenstein and the Wiener Neustadt south avoiding curve to the historic town of Mattersburg near the Hungarian border, passing over an impressive elevated viaduct. From Mattersburg you return on the main line via Mödling to Wien, with an option to stay on the steam train back to Trumau, completing a round trip for the day. The evening is once again spent at leisure in Vienna. (B L)

Tuesday 11th August
Steam at the Zbysov narrow gauge railway in Moravia, arrive to Ostrava
Today Czech narrow-gauge steam takes centre stage, as you visit the delightful narrow-gauge railway at Zbysov, south of Brno. A powerful tank engine will pull you over the full length of the line, pausing for run-pasts and photos. After a good Czech lunch, you continue to Ostrava on a Czech Railways service train, arriving in the capital of Moravian Silesia by late afternoon. You check into your centrally located hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. (B L D)

Wednesday 12th August
Steam in Moravian Silesia on the Osoblaha narrow gauge railway
A very special narrow-gauge railway trip is in store today, as you take a Czech Railways service train from Ostrava via Opava to Tremesna and then board a private steam charter on the idyllic line to Osoblaha, on the doorstep of Poland. This remote yet serene railway runs through gentle fields and soft rolling hills, framed by church towers and dotted villages. The rugged 0-8-0 tank engine will pause for pictures and run pasts, as lunch refreshments are served on the train. After a good day out by steam and a full return journey on the 20 km long branch line, you return to Ostrava by Czech service train and then have dinner again at the hotel. (B L D)

Thursday 13th August
Main line steam in Polish Silesia with Ty42-24 and Gliwice Radio Tower
Today you venture into Polish Silesia and the urban conglomeration of Katowice and Gliwice, just 45 minutes by road from Ostrava. You travel directly to the railway museum at Pyskowice, where the large 2-10-0 freight locomotive Ty42-42 will be in steam and haul your exclusive private charter around several highly unusual industrial lines, with a maximum of ‘rare track’. On the museum grounds, run pasts will also be staged. Afterwards you continue to the landmark Gliwice radio tower, often called the ‘Eiffel Tower of Silesia’. Standing 118 metres high, it’s the world’s highest wooden tower and occupies a very significant chapter in history, as the Nazis staged a phony attack on the tower in September 1939, as a pre-text to commence World War II and invade Poland. You return to Ostrava in the early evening. (B L D)

Friday 14th August
Vintage tram around Ostrava, visit to Vitkovice cultural park
In the morning you enjoy a private charter tram ride aboard a classic, semi-streamlined Tatra 2 vehicle, based on the American PCC design. You’ll see the main landmarks and also visit the local tram depot, before viewing the fascinating Dolni Vitkovice cultural park, where former steel mills have been converted into an attractive public space, with a special blend of contemporary and classic architecture. The rest of the afternoon is for leisure in Ostrava and you can use your complimentary public transport rover ticket to further explore the city’s extensive tramway and trolleybus network, or to simply relax in the Old Town. (B L)

Saturday 15th August
You return to the UK on a direct flight
The time has come to return home. You first travel to Vienna on a direct express train and then have a direct flight from Vienna back to London. (B)


Details

Price

  • Tour price £1995
  • Single supplement £325
  • Ground only £1895

All prices shown are per person based on two persons sharing.

Price Includes

  • Direct flights from London to Vienna and Ostrava to London
  • 8 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast at centrally-located, quality hotels
  • 8 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Travel on all charter trains and other scenic trains as detailed in the itinerary
  • Journey on all steam trains and other heritage transport as detailed in the itinerary
  • Multi-day public transport rover tickets in Vienna and Ostrava
  • All transfers
  • The services of a tour manager

Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner

 

Map feature coming soon!