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I'll be headed from Zell am See to Vienna on the 8th of march, on a train that leaves Zell am See at 10:19.

There are two connections on the way - first in Schwarzach-St.Veit, then in Salzburg.

The connection time for the first train is only two minutes, and the second is 4 minutes. Is that a reasonable time to catch a train? I'm afraid I won't make it and will have to wait there for a long time till the next train.

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can you have access to the platform numbers? in German countries, they are set beforehand and the connections are for trains leaving from the opposite platform (you just have to walk/run the 5 meters between the 2 train doors). You can use Deutsche Bahn's bahn.de, there is a "fast connections" option that you can uncheck. I have no idea about Austrian trains, but some trains in Europe are made for connections so if the first is late, the second is waiting. –  Vince Jan 25 '13 at 12:15
    
Why do I always read Australian instead of Austrian? sigh –  greg121 Jan 25 '13 at 12:33
    
btw I ran the search and the platforms are 2 and 3 in Schwarzach so I guess the connection is expected by ÖBB. There are also direct trains from Zell Am See to Salzburg, but I suppose you have a good excuse for not taking it. –  Vince Jan 25 '13 at 13:49
    
@jbkkd I had to revise my answer after checking oebb.at –  RoflcoptrException Jan 25 '13 at 13:55
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1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Generally, Austrian trains are quite punctual and on time. However, two minutes to change a train is really tight, and 4 minutes isn't really better. The train station in Schwarzach-St.Veit is quite small and this will enhance your chance that you will catch the train. On the other hand, the train station in Salzburg is quite big, so if you're unlucky, there is a chance that you have to cross the whole train station to reach the appropriate track.

When you check the connections at oebb.at, you can see, that this connection is proposed by ÖBB. This means, it is a guaranteed connection. And even, if you will miss your connection, there are plenty of other connections, and you wouldn't have to wait too long. So if I were in your situation, I would take this connection. But I would make sure to tell the train conductor that you have to catch the train in St.Veit. If your train is not really late, it might be possible that he can make sure that your connecting train waits for you. The same applies for your leg from St.Veit to Salzburg.

(Btw: It is not too bad to spend a night at the station in St. Veit as I experienced myself on my trip to Hungary some years ago :) )

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Thanks, I'll talk with the conductor on this issue(does he just pass on the train all the time? How do I recognize him?). The two things I'm worried most is 1) the ticket is SparSchiene, and I read it's only good for specific trains - if I do miss my train, will I be able to board another one? 2) I can't get to Vienna too late as I have a flight to catch, so no overnight in St.Veit ;) –  jbkkd Jan 25 '13 at 14:20
    
@jbkkd Under the CIV rules, for all international rail travel in Europe, if a train delay causes you to miss a connection, you are entitled to take the next train. In Austria, these rules apply to national travel as well. It's likely that the 2 minutes in Schwarzach and 4 minutes in Salzburg were timed to allow passengers to transfer while keeping the delay minimal. –  Gilles Jan 25 '13 at 22:10
    
Be aware though that if you're in bad luck, next train might be a lot later. Probably won't be an issue in this case, though. –  gerrit Jan 25 '13 at 23:21
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