TS18: Pop Goes the Wiesel
Image copyright, NÖLB Mh.
Coming soon from the collaborative efforts of Skyhook Games and Railworks Austria, ÖBB’s popular double-decker CityShuttle
By the early 1990s, capacity on the Austrian Federal Railway’s core networks was at the end of its tether, and something needed to be done to relieve the strain. It was decided that the only way to go was up, by means of introducing double-decker coaches.
Double-decker coaches have the unique ability to increase capacity without requiring longer trains, and so an order for over 200 “dosto” coaches and 37 control cars was placed to replace the unfit-for-purpose conventional coaches that fulfilled duty out of Vienna and beyond.
Construction was relatively slow, due to staff shortages in the plant, meaning first new set didn’t roll out for testing until 1997 – however it was so successful that passenger operations began the same year, and those who travelled on the new coaches were reportedly impressed. As coaches came off the production line, changes in rolling stock formations were implemented with each annual timetable change.
The initial batch proved to be insufficient, and another two orders were required to increase capacity even further, resulting in a total of 325 double-decker vehicles being delivered between 1997 and 2009.
Being only coaches and un-powered control cars, the pushing and pulling was done by ÖBB’s existing locomotive fleet, which the coaches were built to be compatible with. Motive power such as the ÖBB 1116, 1014, 2016, 1044/1144, as well as others, are all capable of working with the coaches and their control car.
The coaches operate services under ÖBB’s “CityShuttle” brand, however, they have also been given another name, initially by enthusiasts but eventually adopted by ÖBB themselves, the “Wiesel” (Weasel), owing to some considering the control car’s design (which is similar to the ÖBB 1014) resembling the creature.
And soon, thanks to Skyhook Games and Railworks Austria, the ÖBB CityShuttle Wiesel will be arriving for service in Train Simulator, accompanied by a fully featured ÖBB 1144 as suitable horsepower.
Watch this space to find out more!