I will be traveling by train from Munich to Vienna with a connection in Salzburg. Is it easy to make this connection?
A quick look on the TheTrainline.com indicates the following for the 2023 timetable (as viewed in mid March 2023) for Munich station > Vienna station (München Hbf > Wien Hbf):
- There are 40 direct trains per day Munich > Salzburg.
- There are 36 direct trains per day Salzburg > Vienna.
Taking 4hr 15-17min: There are DB services leaving Munich at 16 past the hour, which arrive into Salzburg at 59 past; there are subsequent Railjet trains from Salzburg to Vienna that leave at 7 past, scheduled to arrive at 32 past. This gives you a transfer time in Salzburg of only 8 minutes. This is feasible only if you have decent-to-good mobility, don't get [very] lost in Salzburg station, and if your inbound train is on time.
Taking 4hr 36-37min: There are DB services leaving Munich at 55 past the hour, arriving into Salzburg at 42 past the hour, with connecting Railjet services from Salzburg to Vienna that leave at 7 past. This gives a transfer time of 25 minutes, which is a much more feasible connection.
Taking 4hr 44min: Westbahn service leaving Munich at 48 past, arriving in Salzburg at 21 past; Railjet service leaving Salzburg at 7 past (same as above). This gives a transfer time of 46 minutes.
Note late night and early morning services have different durations, including adjusted transfer times (e.g. the 19:55 departure from Munich, falling into the second category above, has a 15min transfer instead).
There are also direct services with no change in Salzburg (which can be as fast as just over 4h, or as slow as over 6hr for overnight services).
There is also an option to go to St. Pölten for the transfer: a total of 4h 18m with a 15min transfer or 4h 36m with a 31min transfer.
Short transfers are a normal and expected feature of a well run railway. Transferring trains does not take a lot of time. You only need seconds to get of a train, and you have up to the last second to get on the next train. And even a bit more. The conductor is not going to close doors while people are still boarding. The platforms of connections are usually announced, so you will know where to go.
So be happy that the railway doesn't waste your time with long transfers. Don't worry and enjoy the trip.