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Spanning from the advent of the steam train to the present-day high-speed rail network, Austrian Railways is an enlightening 20 euro silver six-coin series charting the history of rail in Austria. The fascinating journey appropriately begins with Emperor Ferdinand’s North Railway, Austria’s first ever line.
The Emperor Ferdinand Northern Railway was the name of a former railway company during the time of the Austrian Empire. Its main line was supposed to connect Vienna with salt mines in Bochnia near Kraków. Today, the term is still used to describe certain railway lines which were formerly operated by that company.
Constructed primarily to connect the coal mines of Bohemia and Moravia to Vienna, the imperial capital, the North Railway was commenced in 1836 with the blessing of Emperor Ferdinand. The line’s inaugural 24-minute run took place on 19 November 1837 when the Austria, a locomotive built in England, managed to pull eight carriages containing 164 guests to a maximum speed of 33 kilometres per hour.
Each coin comes in a case with a numbered certificate of authenticity.
Depicts the "AUSTRIA", the first locomotive to run in the Empire. In the background the carriages of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd class are lined up. The 1st class compartments still resembled coaches. The 2nd class was open but had a roof and blinds of leather or canvas that could be lowered to ward off smoke and soot. The carriage of the 3rd class was as open as a cattle car.
Depicts a scene of a train pulled by the steam locomotive Ajax crossing the bridge over the Danube on the first public run from the North Railway Station in Vienna to Deutsch-Wagram on 6 January 1838. The run caused quite a sensation, being watched and cheered by crowds of Viennese along its route. The text "Emperor Ferdinand's North Railway" around.