Bohinj Railway

The Bohinj Railway (Slovene: Bohinjska proga, Italian: Transalpina, German: Wocheiner Bahn) is a railway in Slovenia and Italy. It connects Jesenice in Slovenia with Trieste in Italy. It was built by Austria-Hungary from 1900 to 1906 as a part of a new strategic railway, the Neue Alpenbahnen, that would connect Western Austria and Southern Germany with the then Austro-Hungarian port of Trieste. The line starts in Jesenice, at the Southern end of the Karawanks Tunnel; it then crosses the Julian Alps through the Bohinj Tunnel, and passes the border town of Nova Gorica before crossing the Italian border and reaching Trieste.

Jesenice–Nova Gorica–Trieste Campo Marzio
Bohinj Railway
Solkanski most čez Sočo2.jpg
Solkan Bridge, the second-longest stone bridge in the world[1]
Overview
Line number
  • 70 (Austria)
  • 67 (Italy)
Technical
Line length129 km (80 mi)
Track gauge1435mm
ElectrificationVilla Opicina–Trieste: 3 kV DC
Operating speed80 km/h (50 mph) max.
Maximum incline25%
Route map

0.0
Jesenice
2.6
Kočna
4.8
Vintgar
7.6
Podhom
10.1
Bled Jezero
14.1
Bohinjska Bela
Soteska
23.7
Nomenj
27.9
Bohinjska Bistrica
35.2
Podbrdo
40.4
Hudajužna
46.9
Grahovo ob Bači
50.4
Podmelec
55.8
Most na Soči
64.1
Avče
69.9
Canale
Kanal
73.2
Anhovo
75.9
Plave
86.5
Solkan
89.1
Nova Gorica
92.3
Šempeter pri Gorici
St. Peter
to Gorizia Centrale
95.7
Volčja Draga
97.1
Okroglica
100.1
Prvačina
101.4
Dornberk
103.2
Steske
106.3
Branik
113.2
Štanjel
St. Daniel
117.3
Kopriva
119.8
Dutovlje
Kreplje
to Sežana (since 1948)
Repentabor
19.466
State border SloveniaItaly
former Austrian Southern Railway (Section Šentilj–Trieste)
Trieste–Ljubljana; now Autoporto Fernetti branch
15.695
Villa Opicina
Junction track with former Opicina South station
8.00
Guardiella
5.00
Rozzol-Montebello
until 2003 [2]
from Trieste Centrale
from Trieste Aquilinia / from Erpelle /
0.799
Trieste Campo Marzio

During the First World War, it carried the majority of Austrian military supplies to the Isonzo Front. Due to new political divisions in Europe, with the dissolution of Austria-Hungary into separate states in 1918 and the isolation of communist Yugoslavia after 1945, the railway decreased in importance during the twentieth century. However, Slovenia's accession to the European Union has created new prospects for the railway as a convenient passenger and freight route from Central and Eastern Europe to the port of Trieste.

Distinctive features of the railway are the 6,339 metres (20,797 ft)-long Bohinj Tunnel under 1,498 metres (4,915 ft) high Mount Kobla and the Solkan Bridge with its 85 metres (279 ft) wide arch over the Soča River.

NamesEdit

  • The Slovenian name for the railway is Bohinjska proga (Bohinj railway), referring to both the valley and the town of Bohinj.
  • The German name for it is Wocheiner Bahn (the German name of Bohinj); the southern part of the railway, beyond Nova Gorica, has also been known as the Karstbahn. At the time of construction, the official designation was Karawanken- und Wocheinerbahn, in reference to the Karawanks railway from which it originates in Jasenice: together with it and the Tauern Railway (Tauernbahn), it formed the New Alpine Railways project (Neue Alpenbahnen).
  • In Italian, the railway is known as the Transalpina (the Cross-Alps Railway), and that name is still used for the Italian services between Gorizia and Trieste.

HistoryEdit

The political decisionEdit

In 1869, the Trieste Chamber of Commerce had sent a petition to the Emperor Franz Joseph, in which they argued that the opening that year of the Suez Canal would indubitably lead to further development of Trieste, the main port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; therefore, a second railway line to Vienna or the northern parts of Austria would be needed to support increased maritime traffic, in addition to the existing Austrian Southern Railway. The discussion regarding the path that new railway would take was however not easily settled, and would actually lead to a "nearly thirty year long war".[3]

Only by 1901 was this dispute settled. On 12 February of that year, the Minister for Railway Affairs of Austria Heinrich Ritter von Wittek brought a bill to the attention of the Imperial Council (the Austrian parliament) for the construction of new railways and public investment in them. After approval by both chambers, the Emperor signed the bill into law on 6 June 1901.[4]

Among other provisions, the law provided that the Karawanks and Wocheiner (now Bohinj) railways should be built by 1905 as main lines of the first rank. The cost of that railway was estimated at 103.6 million Kronen, by far the most expensive railway project in the law. That cost would be covered by the issue of government bonds.

To overhaul such a large project, the Minister named a Construction Director directly subordinate to him, the engineer Karl Wurmb. In 1905, both Minister Wittek and Wurmb would be subjected to parliamentary critic regarding the cost overruns incurred by the construction due to geological difficulties.

Operation until 1945Edit

Operation since 1945Edit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Gorazd Humar (September 2001). "World Famous Arch Bridges in Slovenia". In Charles Abdunur (ed.). Arch'01: troisième Conférence internationale sur les ponts en arc Paris: (in English and French). Paris: Presses des Ponts. pp. 121–124. ISBN 2-85978-347-4.
  2. ^ "Impianti FS". I Treni (255): 8. January 2004.
  3. ^ Heinersdorff. Die k.u.k. privilegierten Eisenbahnen. p. 120.
  4. ^ RGBl 1901/63. In: Reichsgesetzblatt für die im Reichsrath vertretenen Königreiche und Länder, Year 1901, p. 201–207 (Online bei ANNO)Template:ANNO/Maintenance/rgb

LiteratureEdit

External linksEdit