Next month I have to travel from Munich to Budapest by train. The train service (the so-called Railjet) runs quite frequently and is reasonably cheap. There is a problem however. I am pretty claustrophobic and absolutely hate tunnels. Small tunnels (<1 km) are bad enough, but manageable. There is a huge one (>20 km) right in front of Vienna (coming from Munich). Technically speaking this is not one tunnel but a whole system containing the "wienerwald" and the "lainzer" tunnel. Nevertheless they are connected underground so the train runs for almost 10 minutes underground with high speed. I would be very relieved if I could spare myself from this experience (especially because this time I am going to travel there with a toddler and the very last thing I want is a panic attack if the train halts underground due to any kind of disruption). So how can I avoid this? I am interested of taking detours if possible. Another possibility that comes to my mind is getting off of the high speed train at the last station before Vienna and taking a regional train to Vienna Central Station if this regional train does not enter the tunnel. Alternatively I can take the whole trip by bus but as I said I will be with a toddler so I'd prefer the train if I could avoid this tunnel. Any advice is highly appreciated.

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    Strange question. Choose another route? Via Prague, Italy? Fly instead?
    – Tomas By
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 19:33
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    What kind of advice are you expecting?
    – Newton
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 21:32
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    @ Tomas: Prague, Italy: huge detour. I do not need to avoid everything only this tunnel. Maybe there is a way to make a smaller detour. Maybe somebody knows where exactly to get off the train to get a regional train that avoids the tunnel. Maybe If I get off at the last station before Vienna there will not be any regional trains to take. I do not know. Maybe I can get buses, but maybe I can't. Would be great to know it in advance. Flying is an option but it can be pricey. I would prefer the train if I could avoid the tunnel.
    – Sanyifejű
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 6:07
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    @Thorsten I do not know. I even avoid lifts. I had the displeasure to travel through this huge tunnel (twice) and it was awful, even though the train did not halt at all. It run with almost 220 km/h through the tunnel but it was still awful.
    – Sanyifejű
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 6:14
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    @Newton Something like this: You need to get off the train at XX, take the regional train/Bus/ship/whatever that goes to YY that will guaranteed avoid the tunnel, and get off in Vienna Central, Meidling etc and you can continue your trip
    – Sanyifejű
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 6:23

1 Answer 1


If you wish to bypass the long Wienerwald tunnel, you need to get off at St. Pölten and take a different train to Vienna.
If you have a look at a railway map (http://www.bueker.net/trainspotting/map.php?file=maps/austria/austria.gif for example), you will see there is a second line from St. Pölten to Vienna (the tunnel line is still marked as under construction in the map).
The plan now is to find a station along the route of that second, older line and add it as a via point in bahn.de or oebb.at.
On Google Maps I can see that such a a station is Neulengbach. If I enter this station as "via", I get a connection that is 1 to 2 hours longer than the direct Railjet (8 or 9 hours instead of 7). It of course requires changing trains at least twice.

Hope this helps. There are only two small tunnels on the alternative route (300m long).

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    I know the answer is old, but I would like to add some information. There is a simple way to find out whether the train from St.Pölten to Vienna is taking the route through the tunnel: If the train is going to Wien Westbahnhof (Vienna West Train Station) it's using the old route without the tunnel. Trains that use the old route are never going to the main train station (Wien Hauptbahnhof).
    – Apfelsaft
    Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 17:08

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