The Railway Museum Südbahn Heizhaus sees itself as a cultural monument with a technical focus, in particular the remise itself, which is home to the museum.
Its collection focuses on locomotives, wagons and technical equipment that were in use on the former Villach – Franzensfeste Southern Railway line. In addition, the Railway Museum strives to archive historical photographs and plans as well as collect books from railway literature. Its activities aim to document cultural-historical contexts, to create awareness of the development and change about the importance of the Southern Railway line and to arouse enthusiasm for history, especially among a younger audience.
The collection strategy focuses on the representative compilation and presentation of technical cultural assets and the communication of the history of the Southern Railway line from 1871 to the present day.
The Südbahn Express museum train with its 80-year-old locomotive and the 4 Schlieren carriages also conveys history and historical driving pleasure.
The railway museum is run by the “Verein der Eisenbahnfreunde in Lienz” (Association of Railway Enthusiasts in Lienz), which is run in an honorary capacity. It was founded in 1980 on the occasion of the purchase of the steam locomotive 52.3816 by the town of Lienz. The locomotive is on permanent loan to the museum.
The association is subject to the Austrian Association Code (ZVR): 865918502. The rights and duties of members are set out in detail in the association’s statutes. Registration for membership can be made directly at the museum, by telephone or in writing.
The Villach – Franzensfeste railway line was put into operation on 20 November 1871. The only preserved long locomotive shed of the k.k.priv. Südbahngesellschaft, which is still largely in its original condition and was built for the operation of steam locomotives, also dates from this time. The three-track, 97 m long shed was planned by the architect Wilhelm von Flattich.
With simple machines, water and coal, a technical age that literally revolutionised economic and social life was ushered in. The Southern Railway boiler house (Südbahn Heizhaus) and a turntable built in 1942 have been listed as historic monuments since 1999. The maintenance and revitalisation of the depot was carried out in the years 2012-2014 as part of an EU project with a total amount of around € 450,000.00.
The exhibition concept
The historical significance of the building is reflected in the exhibition concept. The majority of the exhibits are rail-based and are located in the large hall and in the outdoor areas. Technical equipment and the pictorial and textual presentation of the impact of the railway on the social life of the region find their place in the adjoining rooms. An area of 1,800 m² is available for the exhibition in the remise.
The concept also takes into account space and room for various events in a special ambience.