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.
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).
Fly. There are plenty of options from MUC to BUD for less than 200 Euro round trip and there are even some non-stops in this range.
Deutsche Bahn "Sparticket" will run you probably around Euro 150, and the regular tickets are north of Euro 200 .