27 May 2024
Post originally written in: Deutsch Information An automatic machine translation. Super fast and almost perfect.

Where else but in Innsbruck is it possible to take the streetcar into the mountains? Lined with mountains to the left and right, crossing bold bridges? A ride on the Stubaitalbahn is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful excursions that can be made from Innsbruck. The stress-free glide along this unique railroad line is a 'must' when visiting Innsbruck.

This year marks exactly 120 years since this most beautiful streetcar line in the world was opened. The history of the Stubai Valley Railway has always been closely interwoven with 'world history'. It began in the fun-loving fin de siècle, when the first tourists were able to make excursions to the Stubai. During the First World War, the railroad was then used to transport the wounded.

After a deep slumber in the 1960s and 1970s, this jewel of local public transport is now blossoming anew - which is reflected in the steadily increasing number of passengers. No wonder, really: for commuters from the Stubai to Innsbruck, the train is practically a 'gift from heaven'. Conversely, guests and locals alike appreciate being able to reach many starting points for hikes and explorations by train, which can also be reached quickly and easily from Innsbruck's city center. Recently, the 'mountain streetcar' has become increasingly important in view of the impending climate crisis.

Photos from the collections of the Innsbruck City Archives document the history of the railroad. Many of them can be admired on the highly interesting website of the city archives and illustrate the situation at the time brilliantly. Perhaps the first picture of the station at Sonnenburghof shows a "railcar", as it was called at the time. It was still very informal, with the driver just turning to face the passengers and a man in a kind of cowboy hat leaning against the barrier at the end of the carriage smoking. You just had to have nerves of steel.

The Sonnenburgerhof station was located directly above the Ferrari meadows and was once the declared favorite destination of the people of Innsbruck as a starting point for walks up the Isel mountain. Just as the stations on the way to Fulpmes still evoke a real vacation feeling today. The survival of the train was hanging by a thread, and not just once.

The valley communities 'saved' the Stubai Valley Railway

in 1962, the sword of Damocles of closure was perhaps hanging most ominously over the railroad. However, the communities of the valley wisely decided not to close the railroad but to modernize it. The 'wooden class' was a thing of the past, and new carriage bodies and a new braking system were purchased. The comfortable low-floor carriages in use today have been in operation since 2008 and the frequency has been increased to half an hour. The last major infrastructure measure was the new construction of the Mühlgraben viaduct, an 'icon' of the Stubaitalbahn.

Bicycle transport possible

For me, the Stubaitalbahn is the number one means of transportation when I travel to the western low mountain range. After all, being able to transport my bike on the streetcar expands my radius of activity, as the bike is an e-bike. This means that the stations along the Stubaitalbahn line regularly become starting points for explorations and hikes for me. (Details on bike transport can be found at the end of this article)

Logically, the individual stops are perfect for nature-loving hikers, as the train runs from Innsbruck main station via the villages of Natters, Mutters, Kreith and Telfes to Fulpmes. Here are some excursion and hiking tips.

Lake Natterer See

My recommendation in Natters: a walk to Lake Natterer See. This natural gem is worth a visit at any time of year. https://www.innsbruck.info/destination/unterkuenfte/unterkunftsliste/detail/unterkunft/ferienparadies-natterer-see-natters.html

Mutterer Alm

Highly recommended in Mutters in both summer and winter: the Mutterer Alm. Either easily and airily accessible by cable car or as part of a hiking excursion. https://www.innsbruck.info/sehen-und-erleben/essen-und-trinken/restaurantsuche/detail/infrastruktur/mutterer-alm-bergrestaurant-mutters.html

With the Stubaitalbahn to the Telfer Lärchenwiesen meadows

A 'side station' of the Stubaitalbahn is particularly attractive: the Telfer Lärchenwiesen stop. A circular hike through this natural jewel with unobstructed views of Innsbruck's local mountain, the Serlesspitze and the Patscherkofel, virtually guarantees relaxation. https://www.innsbruck.info/wandern/wandern/familienwanderungen/touren/kreith-telfer-wiesen.html

Fulpmes terminus

For many cyclists, Telfes is usually the starting point for a cycle tour to Fulpmes. A beautiful cycle path leads from here to the main town in the valley. And from here, you can then cycle back to Innsbruck without any effort.

From the city to the mountains

You can board the Stubaitalbahn from these Innsbruck city streetcar stops: Hauptbahnhof, Triumphpforte, Rathausgalerien, Maximilianstraße, Franz-Fischer-Straße, Westbahnhof, Cineplexx, Stubaitalbahnhof

Details on bicycle transportation

  • A maximum of two bicycles are permitted per special use area in the vehicle. (There are two special-use spaces in the entire set)
  • Wheelchair users and people with baby carriages always have priority.
  • On weekdays, bicycles may only be carried outside peak times, i.e. between 9 am and 3 pm and 6:30 pm and 6 pm.
  • At weekends and on public holidays, bicycles may be carried all day if space is available.
  • Bicycles must be secured on the special use area.
  • Children under 14 may only transport bicycles if accompanied by an adult.
  • The cleanliness of the bicycle must be guaranteed and the passages must always be kept clear.
  • Folding bicycles may also be carried as hand luggage when folded and are then not considered bicycles.

For further information see here.

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