Route and Technology

Since 1893, the SchafbergBahn has operated as the steepest cog railway in Austria. This scenic route is served by some of the oldest rack and pinion steam locomotives in the world.

Route description

The journey to the top of the Schafberg starts at the lake-side base station in St. Wolfgang. After a few minutes, the track crosses the provincial border between Salzburg and Oberösterreich and then continues its steep ascent through lush fields and green forests.

At Dorneralm (1015 m above sea level) the first siding is reached. This is where the historic steam locomotives pause to take water. The next stop is the quaint station of Schafbergalpe at 1363 m.

From there it takes another 10 minutes for the train to reach the summit. This segment is probably the most spectacular and already offers impressive views in multiple directions.


Base station Schafbergbahnhof (542 m/1778 ft)

Intermediate station Schafbergalpe (1363 m/4472 ft)

Summit station Schafbergspitze (1732 m/5682 ft) with the Hotel Schafbergspitze (1780 m/5840 ft) 

Technical details:
Track length 5.85 km
Altitude differential 1190 meters / 3904 feet
Maximun gradient 26%
Gauge 1000 m
Design Abt double rack system
Ascent duration 45 minutes for the modern, oil-fried steam locomotives
60 minutes for the nostalgic, coal-fired steam locomotives
Braking Systems Counter-pressure brake, hand brake or electro-pneumatic brake