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Everything on the move at St&H: the exchange of electric vehicles

With only 70-year-old EMUs built between 1951 and 1956, the Lambach - Vorchdorf-Eggenberg local railway has the unique selling point of having the oldest rail vehicles in scheduled service. But this era (must) come to an end and the arrival of the first TramTrain vehicles is to trigger a vehicle castling for the province of Upper Austria, which will also trigger a modernisation push between Lambach and Vorchdorf-Eggenberg. However, the EMUs from the former Extertalbahn or KFBE stock are still in operation. ET 22.136 + ES 22.236 (ex KFBE 1290 + 2290) entering ÖBB station Lambach on 28 March 2023 | © Gunter Mackinger

The Upper Austrian public transport operator Stern & Hafferl has been offering electric local rail transport in the region for around 130 years, on various lines in metre and standard gauge. The diverse and varied requirements of the local railways operated by Stern & Hafferl repeatedly lead to interesting vehicle deployments and vehicle exchange of the rolling stock between the different lines:

In order to be able to carry out necessary repairs on the regular vehicles of the Lambach – Vorchdorf-Eggenberg local railway, one of the two “Graz” railcars of the Linz local railway was ordered to Vorchdorf-Eggenberg. On 7 March 2023, the ET 22.106 arrived in Vorchdorf from Eferding, but already on 16 March 2023 it had to be exchanged for the ET 22.107 railcar of the same type. Despite its more than 70 years of service for Stern & Hafferl, it is a premiere for ET 22.107 on the Vorchdorf railway. Here at Vorchdorf-Eggenberg, together with an ex-Extertal light rail car in the background | © Gunter Mackinger| © Gunter Mackinger
ET 22 106 at Vorchdorf-Eggenberg, to the right metre-gauge railcar ET 23 112 | © Gunter Mackinger
: In 2019, Stern & Hafferl was able to acquire locomotive E 64 from Salzburger Lokalbahn. This locomotive was delivered in 1952 by SGP/ELIN as E 27.001 to the Stern & Hafferl Lokalbahn Bürmoos – Trimmelkam and was also used on the Linz Lokalbahn and the Lokalbahn Lambach – Vorchdorf-Eggenberg. From 1994 onwards, the locomotive was in service with the Salzburger Lokalbahn before returning to its original employer. Since its transfer from Salzburg to Eferding, it has been adapted to the current operational requirements of Stern & Hafferl in the main workshop in Eferding and was able to go out on a test run on 29 March 2023, still with the lettering of its previous owner. The locomotive’s future assignment is the Lambach – Vorchdorf-Eggenberg local line. | © Gunter Mackinger
Still indispensable are the two GANZ electric locomotives of the Linz local railway E 22.001 and E 22.005, which were built in 1915/16 for the ammunition factory Wöllersdorf near Wiener Neustadt. In the 1930s, buyers were found in the ÖBB and Stern & Hafferl, whereby all 6 available (4 x Wöllersdorf and 2x POHEV) locomotives of this type ultimately ended up in the Stern & Hafferl “empire”. E 22.001 is the original Wöllersdorf III locomotive, E 22.005 is the original Wöllersdorf II which came to Stern & Hafferl via the ÖBB (1979.01 of the local railway Vienna – Pressburg). The well-maintained locomotives, which can be operated as coupled pairs, operate construction and goods train services on the Linzer Lokalbahn line – here on 29 March 2023 at Alkoven station with a train of new rails. In the background, ET 22.163 is leaving the station in the direction of Linz. | © Gunter Mackinger
Locomotive E 24.010 spends its last months of service after 113 years of service (!) on the Lambach – Vorchdorf-Eggenberg local line. Built in 1910 by Maffei/SSW for the Loh – Hatzfeld local line in today’s Wuppertal district of Barmen. After the discontinuation of this small railway line, this locomotive came to Stern & Hafferl in 1980 and was used on the Linz local railway, the local railway Neumarkt – Waizenkirchen – Peuerbach and finally Lambach – Vorchdorf-Eggenberg. A last “big” appearance is planned on the occasion of the celebrations “120 years of local railway Lambach – Vorchdorf-Eggenberg” next May. In the summer of 2023, the venerable locomotive is to return to its home and serve as a protected showpiece to commemorate its former main line. The picture shows the locomotive in July 2022 on the Laudach bridge near Blankenberg  | © Gunter Mackinger
: The old tramway depot in Gmunden is not only being preserved by the Lokalbahn Gmunden – Vorchdorf AG, but also renovated and adapted as a multi-purpose building for the storage of the historic vehicles and as an event location. Before the construction work began, the “darlings” had to be relocated – GM 5 and GM 100 to Engelhof station and GM 8 to Vorchdorf. The GM 8 was transferred in tow of the ET 23.112 (ex WSB) on 8 March 2023. Let’s hope that the renovation can be implemented quickly and that the historic vehicles can soon move back into their old-new home | © Gunter Mackinger