Andreas Groll: Empress Elisabeth Railway Station, 1860

The Monarchy Becomes Modern

Of Means of Transport, Communications and Infrastructure


Everything is new, everything is quick, everything is good? That is what contemporaries may well have thought in view of the many technological innovations of the nineteenth century.

For people in the nineteenth century life was speeding up: the construction of the railway network led to shorter journey times and facilitated the transport of goods; the city walls around Vienna were pulled down, removing an obstacle to the movement of people and goods; trams and bicycles increased mobility, and the few cars on the roads, the harbingers of the mass mobility of the twentieth century, conveyed affluent motorists around the city. New technologies and means of transport also speeded up the transmission of news: telegraphy, the telephone and a modern postal service made rapid communication possible. Last but not least the capital was provided with supply networks as water, gas and electricity mains were laid and extended.

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