History of the SchafbergBahn
In the early 19th century, visitors still traveled by stagecoach to St. Wolfgang. The Romantic painters discovered the town as a source of artistic inspiration. Initially, noble citizens from Vienna were carried to the top of the Schafberg by palanquin. Old records show that palanquin carriers even formed a professional association with set prices, fixed standards and strict rules for the safety of the travelers. Later, plans for the construction of a cogwheel railway started to develop.
In 1872, Berthold Currant planned a railway from Winkl near St. Gilgen to the top of the Schafsberg. He sought to build a mountain railway in order to increase tourist traffic on the Wolfgangsee. Alas, Currant´s efforts were not met with success.
It was only in 1890 and as part of the concession for another local railway that approvals for a cog line from St. Wolfgang to the Schafberg were formally granted. As a result, the SKGLB - Salzkammergut Lokalbahn Gesellschaft (Salzkammergut Local Railway Company) was established.
Engineering and construction work was carried out by the company Stern & Hafferl. The work began in April 1892 under the direction of Ing. Eugen Sooss. 350 workers, most of them from Italy, worked on building the railway. Material and food had to be carried up and down the mountain by hordes of mules. Severe weather and extreme temperatures briefly interrupted progress during the winter of 1892/93.