Railway history – up close. Lokwelt Freilassing

Railway history – up close and personal!

In the Lokwelt Freilassing (locomotive world), the history of the railway is told in a fascinating way in a round locomotive shed that is over 100 years old. A must for railway fans.

The history of Freilassing is closely linked to the history of the railway as a border station from Germany to Austria. In the 1970s, more than 1000 people were still employed at the station and in the railway depot. Across the bridge leading to Lokwelt, you can clearly see the former importance of Freilassing station on the extensive tracks.

Freilassing is still a railway junction on the border with Austria. On the Munich Salzburg route, some ÖBB railjets stop here on the Munich-Vienna route as well as DB long-distance trains to Munich and on to Dortmund, Frankfurt or Hamburg or Klagenfurt and Graz. There are trains to Berchtesgaden, Mühldorf and Landshut. So it’s easy to get there and away.

Architectural monument of industrial history

The round locomotive shed, built in 1902-1905, is part of a building complex that is an important monument of industrial history, today the railway museum “Lokwelt Freilassing”. Part of the former railway premises including the round locomotive shed was purchased by the town of Freilassing and opened to the public as a railway museum in 2006 in cooperation with the Deutsches Museum in Munich.

Impressive testimonies of railway history are gathered here, such as electric locomotives of the LAG1 series from 1905, E44.5 from 1934 or the E103, the first express locomotive of Deutsche Bahn, which achieved a continuous speed of 200 km/h. But two steam locomotives have also found their end of career here and give an instructive account of how mobility was thought of more than 100 years ago.

©CFT Video Berlin. The Lokwelt also features a video showing touching images from 100 years ago at the Freilassing railway station.

In addition to the locomotives on 17 tracks, 1st to 4th class railway compartments are shown (they used to be!) and questions about railway technology are explained extensively. When you have a modern ICE (Intercity Express Train) in front of your eyes, you realise what development the railway has undergone in the last 100 years. This is explained in an informative way using the chassis of an ICE. In the 4th class compartments of the time, there was no heating. And light was provided by paraffin lamps. Today we get a crisis when the air conditioning fails in the ICE. It’s all a question of scale.

A model railway layout in H0 gauge (scale 1:87) simulates the Freilassing railway station, among other things. For friends of model railways, a real eye-catcher with all the thousands of details. Numerous passenger and goods trains run on the track layout at fixed times. Lokwelt Freilassing is also a venue for jazz concerts and other railway-related events. The exciting ambience is a time capsule from a bygone era. Passing railjets and goods trains make the museum visit very authentic.

From Salzburg main station, you can reach Freilassing station in 10 minutes by train (S-Bahn, regional train or long-distance train), which runs several times an hour. The S-Bahn also stops in Salzburg Mülln-Altstadt – practical. Coming out of Freilassing station, turn right for a signposted 12-minute walk to Lokwelt. When you see the old box duck on the garage, you are almost there and then experience the history of the railway – up close. For railway fans, Lokwelt Freilassing is a must.

Lokwelt Freilassing, Regular all-year opening hours Fri, Sat, Sun 10 am to 5 pm. In summer and on public holidays such as Easter or Christmas, there are additional hours. Gay Railway Friends Austria Gay Railway Friends Germany

Published 19. September 2021Updated 25. June 2023
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