Positions on Transport, Technology, Innovation
Behind us lies a year of challenges: in terms of health, society and the economy. In all the months of video-conferencing, what suffered most was the dialogue, the joint discourse, the personal exchange. That’s why we have just now decided to open an entertaining, regular channel with the micro-magazine Level X.
Right now, in the face of the climate challenges, the railroad has set out, as it did 200 years ago, to connect countries and continents and to bring our world a little closer together.
And this time it may even help to save it.
We at EBE are proud to play our part in this.
Laurenz Trunner and the EBE Solutions team
of the first railway in Ukraine
Vienna–Lviv train line
This year it is 150 years since the line between Przemyśl (Poland) and Lviv (Lviv) was opened as the first railroad line on the present territory of Ukraine. The 98-kilometer long section was part of a connection via Kraków and for the first time connected the center of western Ukraine with the imperial city of Vienna. The line was built by the k.k. priv. Galizische Carl Ludwig-Bahn, a railroad company that emerged from the k.k. Östliche Staatsbahn in 1858.
Multiple “track changes”
In 1892, the line was nationalized by the Imperial Austrian State Railways and has since been in changing state ownership: after the end of the war in 1918, it had been incorporated into the Polish State Railways. With the occupation of eastern Poland by the Soviet Union in 1939, the change to Russian broad gauge (1520 mm) began immediately – but this was reversed just as quickly in 1941 with Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union. Another “gauge change” finally took place at the end of the Second World War, because the railroad line was again taken in possession by the Soviet Railways. They re-gauged the entire line to broad gauge and integrated it into their network, which was finally taken over by the Ukrainian Railways in 1991.
A role model for Otto Wagner
Today, the double-track electrified line is operated by Ukrainian Railways on two gauges (Russian broad gauge to Żurawica north of Przemyśl in Poland). Lviv station is still one of the largest passenger stations in Ukraine, carrying over a million passengers every month. The reception building of the station, built in 1904, served as a model for later buildings in Vienna and Prague and inspired famous architects, including Otto Wagner. Wagner even visited the largest and most modern railroad station in the monarchy at the time to see for himself. After the war, the exterior of the badly damaged building was faithfully restored, but the interior was contemporary in the style of the Stalin era.
Today, the station presents itself almost unchanged and is still the destination and starting point of many international connections – including (and still) to Vienna.
Picture below: the reception building of Lviv station today.
Win a copy of the
“Ukrainian Railroad Ladies” picture book!
The level crossings on the railroad network in Ukraine are almost completely automated and yet still people work in those little pastel-colored houses all over the country: the Ukrainian dispatchers hold the fort, 80% of them are women! Photographer Sasha Maslov has now created a poetic memorial to them in his acclaimed book ”Ukrainian Railroad Ladies”. He portrayed 50 of these proud railroad employees, who – unimpressed by the passing trains and the march of time – have since become a symbol of continuity in this country in transition.
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Ukrainian Railroad Ladies is more than 50 portraits of traffic controllers and safety officers at railroads of Ukraine. This project is also an exploration of why these professions still exist in the 21st century, given the almost entire automatisation of railroad crossings in the country. (The Guardian)