Written by: TrainSim-James
The Mittenwaldbahn, one of the featured Train Simulator 2018 routes, authentically recreates the imposing Alpine range from both sides of the German/Austrian border!
After the first proposals for a railway line between Seefeld and Innsbruck began to appear in the late 1880s, and following many disputes over financing, approval was granted and construction got underway. Seefeld was to be the original terminus, but this was quickly extended to Mittenwald, and eventually to the already existing station of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. While pushing costs even higher, this extension would allow a seamless connection between Munich and Innsbruck.
The line was opened in July 1912, however it would not be until April of the following year until the planned electrification was complete and in full operation. Most railway lines weren’t built with the wires in mind, however it was decided to construct the Mittenwaldbahn in such a condition to avoid any future work being required; the landscape was difficult to work in, getting everything done at once avoided major developments in the future, despite the initial cost.
The Mittenwaldbahn proved essential to the locals, and also saw a significant rise in tourist traffic with various ski resorts being accessible to many, this was particularly the case for the 1976 Winter Olympics and 1985 World Ski Championships. It was round this time when modernisation was undertaken to accommodate, including re-signalling and station re-builds.
Passenger traffic is the Mittenwaldbahn’s main purpose, the Tyrol S-Bahn makes good use of the Innsbruck-Scharnitz section, also known as the S5 line. Deutsche Bahn operate regional services between Munich and Mittenwald, with every other extending to Innsbruck. While passenger-focused, the freight traffic that does visit the Mittenwaldbahn is often overseen and hauled by ÖBB and its traction.
Having traversed the mountains for over 100 years, the Mittenwaldbahn is one of the vital links between Germany and Austria, and has brought to life tourism in the Alps for ski-slope enthusiasts, scenic-view lovers, and of course, captivating-railway fans.
The experiences that await you on the Mittenwaldbahn are tantamount to excitement; manage heavy freight trains aboard the all-efficient ÖBB 2016 locomotive, keep to the timetable on prominent regional services aboard the DB BR 442, or take to the trackside and watch in awe as these stunning examples of traction do battle with every turn, climb and swooping fall of the surrounding peaks.
Expect no easy day while working the Mittenwaldbahn, the mountainous region allows for little easy-going gradients and managing speed is one of the many skills mastered by drivers through the Alps. In contrast, the undulating path when under control, provides a very relaxed atmosphere. Travelling over viaducts, through tunnels, and along banks of lush green forests, the views are undeniably unmatched.
The magic of the Mittenwaldbahn will be yours to experience in Train Simulator 2018, available now! ■