Book look: U-Bahn history

Vienna is a vibrant city which keeps growing. Its public transport system and its costs, structure and expansion have often been debated intensively. However, the majority of users and experts praise the Austrian capital’s planners and managers for creating and sustaining a reliable network. Despite increasing usage, ticket prices have risen moderately in recent years. Compared to other European cities’ public transport systems, Vienna is performing on a very high level in all regards.

“Das Wiener U-Bahn-Netz”, a book published by Wiener Linien in 2009, offers a broad historic panorama view on planning and constructing the city’s underground. Author Johann Hödl does not start his story in the 1960s when the first U-Bahn line was built. He also describes the pioneering engineers and their first attempts to create public transport in Austria and across Europe as well as the Nazis’ restructuring and redesigning plans for public transport and various streets and squares.

On more than 300 pages, Hödl explains the effects of global planning developments in all eras on Vienna. He examines the different parties’ opinions after World War Two when Viennese politicians expressed the idea of building a network of underground lines for the first time. as of 2010, the Viennese U-Bahn featured 101 stops – and the extension is ongoing, with new destinations and a new line: the U5. “Das Wiener U-Bahn-Netz” – which features dozens of old documents and photographs – is a pleasure for all residents of Vienna interested in how their city’s renowned underground became what it is today.

Das Wiener U-Bahn-Netz. 200 Jahre Planungs- und Verkehrsgeschichte
By Johann Hödl
Published by Wiener Linien (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

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