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New low-cost train service for Vienna airport

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New low-cost train service for Vienna airport
Photo: APA/Neubauer
15:12 CET+01:00
Vienna's Schwechat airport now offers yet another way to reach the city, and vice versa, with the launch of a new service from the Austrian railways (ÖBB).

Currently, an estimated 56 percent of passengers travel to Vienna's International Airport at Schwechat via car - but that could be about to change, with the launch next week of a new connection from Wien-Mitte.

Business travelers are already well-catered for with the CAT service, a luxury train which goes every 30 minutes, and which takes only 16 minutes to reach Wien-Mitte.  It also offers the convenience of luggage check-in directly in the city air-terminal station.  

At €17 for a return ticket (€11 one-way), it's good value compared to most European destinations, such as the Heathrow Express which charges £34 (€43) for a return (£21 for a single) if you don't book seven days in advance.

The canny 'budget' traveler would usually opt for the Wolfsthal regional train (S7), which currently costs €4.10, although it tends to be much slower, and less frequent.

However, all this changes on December 15, when a new fare plan and timetable from the Austrian railway (ÖBB) goes into effect.

The change to the S7 service means that a special connection from Wien-Mitte taking 25 minutes will cost only €2.40, one-way - less than a quarter the cost of the CAT service.

Passau, Linz and St. Pölten will also benefit with a new two-hourly service that connects using Inter-City Express (ICE) trains to the Vienna Airport via Vienna's new main railway station (Hauptbahnhof).  The ICE connection will link the Hauptbahnhof to the airport in only 17 minutes, for €4.40.

Among airport travelers currently 26 percent take a private car, 26 percent take a taxi, and four percent use a car-hire or car-sharing service.  Around 22 percent take trains, eleven percent take the CAT, and eleven percent use buses.  According to an airport spokesman, usage of the CAT has recently risen.

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