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For more than 125 years the electric railway has been providing the most efficient and environmentally friendly means of transport in Austria. The fifth 20 euro silver coin in our Austrian Railways series pays fitting tribute to the Arlberg Railway, which played a pioneering role in making that electrification happen.
In 1882, Emperor Franz Joseph issued the licence for the first permanent electric railway, which ferried excursionists from Mödling outside Vienna to the Brühl valley. By the end of the 19th century a number of local lines and tramways had converted to electric power. The excellent performance of electric engines on steep inclines led to the conversion of the Arlberg Railway in the west of the country to electric power in the 1920s and to the development of suitable locomotives, such as the type 1189. Nicknamed the “Crocodile” due to its green colour and unusual appearance, the 1189 features on the coin’s obverse hard at work on the line, which is considered a masterpiece of Austrian railway engineering. The coin’s reverse shows a train crossing the Trisanna bridge next to Wiesberg castle, one of the Arlberg Railway’s most beautiful sections.
Minted to a maximum of 50,000 pieces in Proof quality only, each coin comes in an attractive case with a numbered certificate of authenticity.
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