The Railway and its Competitors: Co-ordination and Competition in Passenger and Freight Transport in Austria and Switzerland during the first half of the 20th Century
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
VI Congreso de Historia Ferroviaria. 6th Railway History Congress
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Like in many other European countries, after World War I the national railway companies had to face growing competition in both passenger and freight transport mainly from the motor bus in passenger transport and from the lorry in freight transport. To a much lesser extent, competition also came from the aircraft, but in this case, of course, only the very small market of long-distance luxury travel was concerned.
The Austrian Federal Railways, though highly indebted, reacted to this new competition in various ways: not only did they establish a motor bus company of their own and buy shares of competing businesses (motor bus and aircraft companies) but also engaged in rationalization and tariff reforms, offered new rolling stock, started with electrifying the railway network and, last but not least, tried to influence the Government by intensive lobbying in order to establish new laws in favour of the railways.
The Federal Government of Austria as the owner of the Federal Railways surprisingly did not pursue a consequent policy of favouring the railways or even co-ordinating the different transport modes. An initiative to share the transport market between the railways and road haulers by introducing a new law in 1933 failed.