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International Rheinregulierung
Lustenau
Austria
 
Gauge : 750mm 
 
 

 
(Click on images for full size picture)
The typical view of the IRR(International Rheinregulierung) for many people, is that of diesel electric locos hauling passenger trains which run over part of the railway during the summer months. Both diesel and steam locos are now used, although these trips only normally cover a small part of this extensive system.
However, at the other end of the line at Koblach, there is a quarry which supplies stone for the continuing river bank works, where the Rhine flows into the Bodensee. The flow of the Rhine is controlled by banks built up at either side of the river and now extend into the lake itself. The railway with a total trackage of 90km, is still used to transport stone for this purpose.
As well as transporting stone in skips and wooden tippers, wooden flat wagons are used to transport large rocks, which are taken to the far end of the line, and unloaded by a crane and grab.
One of the three large diesel electric locos, 'Heidi', built by Stadler in 1946 waits by the weighbridge at 07:00 in the morning with a train of skips, ready to depart on the 1.5 hour trip to the Bodensee.
The overhead wire stops a couple of kilometers before the end of the line, and the locos continue with diesel power. On each side of the Rhine there are tipplers which are used to deposit the stone into waiting lorries, which then take the stone farther out onto the extended banks of the Rhine.
The railway crosses the Rhine in two places. The first bridge is just a couple of kilometers from the quarry, and once on the western bank, the railway is in Switzerland. Further north, there is a combined road/rail bridge, which takes the railway back into Austria. However, at this point, the railway extends north along both banks of the river, but when visited in May 2000, the construction work was only being carried out on the western bank.
The railway has three Motor Rails, named Miki, Susi(seen here), and Juno. In May 2000 when these photos were taken, Susi (built in 1960) was the shunter at the quarry, with Miki in the shed as reserve loco. Juno was kept elsewhere, possibly at Lustenau or Widnau.
 
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Steve Thomason 2004
Upgraded site relaunched 1st January 2004

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