This historic hiking route on the Bahnwanderweg starts at Semmering railway station. A few information boards at the start of the hike at the railway station tell us about the railway’s history and clarify the Viennese Alps route. Immediately left from the boards, we head uphill on a paved path and follow the first Bahnwanderweg signs towards Payerbach railway station. We approach the rails and the Ghega monument on the gravel path. Heading past a playground, we cross beneath the railway line and follow the school path to Wolfersbergkogel station. We ascend up the road and after turning left we continue straight ahead along a sandy path. The old Kurhaus Semmering spa building is in front of us, and is currently used for cultural events. After heading to the car park, we cross it and then carry on along the forest path before ascending to the Doppelreiterwarte observation point. The brief ascent to the observation point is well worth it.
Upon coming back to the path we head past the observation point on the right-hand side and return back in the direction of the Kurhaus car pack on a forest path that curves left. However, we don’t go there, but follow a path curving right towards which is known as the 20 Schilling view. If you ever held a 20 Schilling banknote between 1968 and 1998, then the view from the aforementioned site will be recognisable.
We follow the Viennese Alps until we reach a fork, and then turn right in the direction of Breitenstein. The next paved road is stayed on only briefly before turning right into the forest. After briefly coming back onto the road, we then turn right into Weberkogelstraße near the old steam laundry. If you’re feeling hungry and thirsty, the Hinterholz 9 refreshment point is a place to stop. We wander down to the viaduct in the lower part of Adlitzgraben, walk beneath the viaduct, and observe all tools that were used to construct the railway.
The route continues uphill along the road for a few minutes before turning left into the woods once more. Initially the route goes slightly downhill, then uphill past a large book describing the history of the Semmeringbahn (Semmering Railway). The woodland path becomes steeper and we follow a ridge which offers great views. The hiking route continues downhill to the Ghega Museum (open from 10am on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from May to the end of October). Back on the paved route, the Viennese Alps continue towards Prein, whilst we take Regional Route L on the road down towards Breitenstein.
At Blunzenwirt (closed on Tuesday and Wednesday) we turn left onto the Hauptstraße and follow the signs to Breitenstein railway station and go over a bridge. We then come across the Feuerwehrhaus on the road a bit further on, continue to ascend towards the municipal office, and then leave Hauptstraße and continue into Lindenstraße. After a short stretch we ascend along the road and turn slightly right into Untere Bahnstraße. We can look back towards Breitenstein and the Kalte Rinne viaduct. The paved road then becomes a cart path, which takes us uphill past meadows to a road with great views. At this point, head right and follow the road downhill then, when near some houses, turn into Blauer Einschnitt and get very close to the Semmering Railway once again. The Bahnwanderweg carries straight on to Klamm after a few minutes, however we turn left to Kreuzberg at the crossroads. Forststraße brings us to a road which leads us to the mountain ridges of the Kreuzberg. Gasthof Polleres is on the left if you fancy a hearty meal (closed on Mondays) and continue right on the gravel track. At the next crossroads, which has a plague memorial, we continue left along a gravel path. The views of Schneeberg and Rax are splendid at this point. When in the woods, we follow the path towards Klammer Chapel and go on a gentle climb. We turn left onto a hiking path marked in red at a point where the woods thin out somewhat. This narrow woodland route takes us downhill to Kochhof. A chapel and a large linden tree can be seen on the right, and we turn left into a cul-de-sac that goes towards Payerbach railway station and Küb post office (Postamt Küb). We are now on Regional Route M.
The asphalt road becomes a gravel track and we turn right at the first crossroads. Ignore the hiking route on the right and continue along the gravel track towards some houses. We leave the signposted Bahnwanderweg at the first crossroads with a red and grey hydrant and turn right. The road leads below the railway line and carries on to the historic Küb post office (open from May to October, Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 5pm). Turn left at the house at Küberweg 2 a few metres further on to find the promenade to Payerbach. This forest promenade is now followed until the first houses in Payerbach are reached. We keep right and reach the centre, head past the church and then cross the Schwarza river. Go over the zebra crossing on the Bundesstraße and continue along the Bahnweg uphill to Payerbach-Reichenau railway station.