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This new European high-speed rail network will take you from Vienna to Berlin in four hours

Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria have agreed to work together to upgrade train routes and create high speed lines to improve connections between Vienna, Prague and Berlin.

A new night-train connectionion from Vienna to Brussels started in January 2020 (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP). 
A new night-train connectionion from Vienna to Brussels started in January 2020 (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP). to Berli

Travel times between the capital cities of Germany passenger services between the capital cities of Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria could be slashed in the next 15 years, if plans announced at German Rail Summit earlier this week come to fruition.

German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer spoke about plans agreed by the three countries, called the Via Vindobona Treaty for a combination of upgraded routes and sections of new high speed line.

This could allow passengers to travel from Berlin to Vienna in around five hours with limited stops, while express services could even create journey times of four hours. 

The fastest journey time between the two cities is currently around eight hours and 15 minutes. The Berlin to Prague journey time would be cut to two hours 30 minutes and Dresden to Prague to around one hour, according to Railway Gazette international. 

The news comes following plans to revive night trains across Europe, including a sleeper service from Vienna to Paris by the end of 2021.

READ MORE: Map-a return to night trains across Europe takes a step closer 

At the heart of the scheme is a 30km tunnel under the Erzgebirge on the German-Czech border, for which a joint declaration was signed in March 2020. 

This is expected to be completed by the mid-2030s, as part of a 123km high-performance railway between Dresden and Prague, cutting the distance by around 56 km.

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Czech Transport Minister Karel Havlíček said he was keen to introduce two-hourly services to the neighbouring capitals, increasing to an hourly service in the longer term.

The website Railtech reported in 2019 the Czech rail infrastructure manager SŽDC planned to construct high-speed railways in the country, allowing passenger trains to run at a speed of 320kph, more than twice as fast as is currently possible. 

Future high speed lines in Czechia
Future high speed lines are planned throughout the Czech Republic which will also speed up connections to Austria and Germany.

Austrian Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler promised a start would be made next year on a one billion euro upgrade of the 66 km Nordbahn between Wien and the Czech border at Bernhardsthal.

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VIENNA

What’s on: Five things to do in Vienna this weekend

Vienna is full of events, places to visit and great new restaurants to try out. If you are overwhelmed with the possibilities or just wondering where you can find a cafe with a fireplace, here are some ideas.

What's on: Five things to do in Vienna this weekend

Haus der Musik

Austria and its capital Vienna are known for their connection to the world of music, from classical names to more recent rock, pop and hip hop creations. 

In Vienna, one of the best museums for all ages is the house of music, with information and many interactive experiences will teach you how sound is created and show you pieces from the city’s philharmonic. 

One of the highlights is the staircase between floors that acts as a piano allowing visitors to compose their music. 

You can find more information here.

Long night in the museum

Definitely one of the coolest events in any city. This weekend is the time to visit Viennese museums way after hours – the event is actually Austria-wide and you can check all participating institutions here.

On Saturday, the 1st of October, the “ORF Long Night of Museums” takes place. From 6 pm to 1 am, numerous museums open their doors and offer a diverse program for young and old. The regular tickets cost 15 euros, discounted tickets 12 euros and regionally limited tickets six euros. Admission is free for children up to the age of twelve.

You can find more information here.

Café Jelinek

As the weather gets colder and the weekend promises some rain, of course staying indoors is a good idea. Vienna is full of beautiful cafes to visit and enjoy, but Jelinek has a charm of its own.

The traditional coffee house not only has delicious food in a great environment, but visitors can also enjoy some warmth straight from the fireplace (no extremely high gas bills here!).

You can find more information here.

Vienna Comic Con 

This weekend, Austria’s capital is hosting the Vienna Comic Con. Comic fans can meet up and enjoy the event with some great guests. Besides famous comic artists, fantasy authors, and voice actors, there are cosplay guests and entertainment guests. One of them is Jack Gleeson, the actor who played Joeffrey in Game of Thrones. 

The comic con also has thrilling esports tournaments, free-to-play areas, and more. 

You can find more information here.

Visit a heuriger

Not ready to say goodbye to heuriger season just yet? There are many unique places still open and worth a visit before it gets too old outside. 

The classic suggestion is Heuriger Wieninger, in the 21st district. Besides the house wine, there’s a buffet with warm and cold dishes, all in the traditional ambiance of a heuriger. 

You can find more information here.

Do you know any other cool events happening in Vienna during the weekends? You can email us at [email protected] to share your tips and suggestions.

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