Vienna-Mürzzuschlag-Trieste in 13 hours, 4 minutes

Mürzzuschlag – The gateway to the south!

The title of the permanent exhibition stands for connecting the disconnected, for opening up new places – and for the yearning to come into contact with the ‘wider world’. In Mürzzuschlag, an exciting journey through the diverse world of railways begins. The construction of the railway ‘over the mountain’ was one of the most spectacular and costly railway projects of the 19th century.

‘Over the mountain’ denotes not only the literal crossing of the Semmering by rail, but also the overcoming of spatial distances and natural barriers. It stands for connecting the disconnected and expanding one's own boundaries, opening up new spaces and longing to come into contact with the ‘wider world’.

‘Vienna-Mürzzuschlag-Trieste’ means not only the connection of geographical areas, but above all the possibilities of getting to know people and their living spaces, curiosity and interest in foreign and other life worlds – in short: a dialogue between spiritual and material worlds.

‘13 hours, 4 minutes’ – just over half a day – refers to the acceleration of travel. The quick accessibility of distant places and people means to consolidate connection, encounter and exchange through space and time. It also reminds us that ‘railroad time’ has become ‘global time’!

In Mürzzuschlag, an exciting journey through the diverse world of railways begins – the gateway to the south. As one of the oldest railway locations in Austria, Mürzzuschlag is located on a central section of the Southern Railway, the Semmering Railway, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998 and is one of the most important cultural treasures in the world. Nowhere else had anything like this been realized before.

With the completion of the southern runway in 1857, a continuous railway connection was established between the royal recidence city of Vienna and Trieste, the most important port of the Habsburg monarchy. The Southern Railway is also symbolic of the many changes that have influenced the lives of people to this day, but also of the longing for travel, distance and the way to foreign countries. So there are many reasons to start a journey of discovery through the history of the railway, using the example of Mürzzuschlag.

The stations in the museum: the general history of railways, the great visionaries and pioneers of railway construction, the Southern Railway, the construction of the Semmering Railway, the Austrian engineering, a ‘tunnel experience’, famous railway travelers in the ‘train of destinies’, railroad job profiles, one ‘locomotive of the senses’ as well as an extensive search for traces of the connections between the art of the railway, landscape, tourism, time, communication, war, industry and trade.

Research team:
Dr (Mag.) Nikolaus Reisinger
Dr Günter Dinhobl
(Mag.) Kerstin Ogris

Exhibition design:
(Mag.) Hans Kudlich