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Visitor numbers up at Holiday World Show in Dublin 2013

28. January 2013

Visitor numbers were up at this year’s Holiday World Show at the R.D.S. in Dublin from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th January. There were lots of enquiries after Michael Porillo's enthusiastic praise in his BBC 2 programme Great Continental Railway Journeys.

Austrian Commercial Counsellor Wilhelm Nest noticed a distinct upsurge in interest in railway journeys though the Austrian Alps and lake districts. “Michael Portillo praised the beautiful Austrian scenery in his recent BBC series “Great Continental Railway Journeys” and this definitely gave us a bounce”, commented the Counsellor. “There were lots of people who’ve been to Austria many times before and were delighted to find new reasons to go there.”

Apart from railway journeys there was keen interest in city breaks to Vienna and Austria, and walking holidays in Tyrol and Salzburg. Several visitors to the stand were planning to fly to Vienna on the trail of the Ephrussi family, having read the bestselling book “The Hare with Amber Eyes” by Edmund De Waal.



More about Michael Portillo’s journey through Austria

During the series Portillo retraces the steps outlined a century earlier in Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide and General Handbook in 1913. This is what he says:

“Of all the railways I rode, though, the most memorable was in Austria: new territory for me, with lakes and mountains of astonishing beauty. From the resort of St Wolfgang I took the steam-powered rack railway up to the Schafberg (“Sheep Mountain”). The locomotive is a strange-looking beast, built at an angle to the track to ensure that the water in the boiler can be kept as level as possible. You soon see why: in 40 minutes it travels just over three-and-a-half miles, but in the process it climbs 3,930ft.
 
There’s another surprise at the top. From the station is a walk of about 200 yards up to a hotel, and what you don’t realise until you reach the hotel is that it stands on a sheer cliff, 5,870ft above St Wolfgang. You feel as though you’ve come to the edge of the world.

They have steam engines on the Schafbergbahn that are a century old. I went up on one of the modern replicas, but I was accompanied by the line’s manager, and in his splendid braided uniform he looked every inch a figure from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.” 

Read the article abourt it in The Telegraph:
Great Continental Railway Journeys - Michael Portillo Time Traveller

You can watch the complete episode on Youtube by clicking on this link:
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