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"WETTBEWERBE 78/79" 1988


Interiordesign/ Design of Austrian Federal Railway Coach

The Austrian Federal Railways wants to reinvent itself in the next few years. The transformation into a modern, comprehensive service company could come faster than anticipated. The course has already been set. Some things will be implemented in the course of the next few years, and some even after the year 2000. However, our company already has a lot to offer today. This foundation is where we will build the future. Our public image is a very important part of it.

A company’s image significantly influences the relationship between the firm and its customers. Their image determines if the customer finds the company trustworthy, accomplished and if they feel secure engaging in business with them. Among other things, it has become necessary to retire the two coaches currently in use, one of which is more than 40 years old. Neither of the coaches presently meet new, updated requirements in terms of comfort and function (i.e. safely reaching speeds of 200km /h, pressure, tightness, design, and comfort). In order to obtain ideas for this update, a nation-wide public competition was advertised and all creative innovators and designers were encouraged to apply. This competition was an opportunity for domestic architects and designers to make a name for themselves in the field of passenger coaches.

The Austrian Federal Railways was in turn given the opportunity to become acquainted with partners who, if necessary, may potentially be invited to participate in the company’s redesign process. Since the jury consisted of design directors and creative architects from some of the most successful European railway administrations, the contestants had a chance to become internationally known. The results of the competition were extremely satisfying and offered valuable suggestions for the further development of the Austrian Federal Railways.

The trodden path will be continued in all complex design tasks. The newly built coaches will be available for public rental - just like the current coaches. I thank all those who contributed to the success of the competition and its publication. I wish not only the prize winners, but all the participants success in their endeavors.


Dr.Heinrich Übleis (Director General of the Austrian Federal Railways)

Competition Theme

Competition to obtain designs ideas for the interior design and design of the new Austrian Federal Railways coaches

Jury: Austrian Univ.Prof.Dipl.Ing. Laurids Ortner, Jens Nielsen (Deputy Chairman, Chief Designer of the Danish State Railways), Arch. Uli Huber (Secretary, Chief Architect of the Swiss State Railways), Jacob Heiberg (Deputy Leader Chief Designer Norwegian State Railways), Councilor Dr. Heinrich Übleis (Director General of the Austrian Federal Railways).

1st place

Mag. art. Horst Lechner, Mag. art. Christine Lechner

The winning design is characterized by a generous, clearly readable, spatial concept. Through the proposed wave-shaped wall structure, it is possible to achieve both the desired functionality while enabling an attractive and comfortable stay on board.


The Technische Museum in Vienna

The coach is no stranger to the Technical Museum. As we know, it already houses the court saloon car of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. This wagon, which houses Sisis’ Boudoir, bedroom, toilette, and vestibule, is the main attraction of the Railway Museum. It should be practical, spacious, not too cluttered, yet elegant and representative.

Due to this connection, the Technical Museum (TMW) currently has an exhibition displaying the award-winning designs for the interior fittings of the updated ÖBB coaches.

further publications

to the project

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