|Austrian 2 Thaler Emperor Franz Joseph I|
|Austrian Double Thaler Southern Railway Commemorative Coin|
Obverse: Wreathed head of Franz Josef right. Laurel tips point to KA in legend.
Legend: FRANZ JOSEPH I . V . G . G . KAISER V . OESTERREICH / A / C.R. / (COPIA countermark)
Reverse: Lighthouse flanked by a locomotive and a ship, Arms of Vienna and Trieste.
Legend: VOLLENDUNG DER OESTERREICHISCHEN SÜDBAHN 1857 / 2. VEREINS THALER
Mint Place: Vienna (A)
Denomination: Double Thaler (2 Thaler)
Mint year: 1875 (restrike of 1983)
Material: White Metal / Tin
Weight: 32.35 gm
Diameter: 41 mm
Commemorative double thaler , which was originally issued in a low mintage of only 1,644 pcs. and is hard to find in any conditon. A decent original specimen is nowadays not available below $3000, therefore this official restrike, which was issued during 1983 makes still a nice addition to each Austrian and Railway coins collection. The Numismatica Istria has issued these marked restrikes in high quality to mark the 10th anniversary of the organisation.
The present day rail network of the city of Trieste is based, for the most part, upon railway lines constructed by the former Austrian Empire.
The Austrian Southern Railway (German Österreichische Südbahn or just Südbahn , Slovene Južna železnica ) was an Austrian railway company established in 1841. It was the main railway company in the Austrian Empire (later Austria-Hungary) operating train services between Vienna and Trieste until 1923.
Today, the term Südbahn is still used to refer to the railway lines which were formerly operated by it: from Vienna via Bruck an der Mur to Graz and via Slovenia to Trieste (Southern Railway). Historically incorrect, the term is sometimes also applied to the railway line from Bruck an der Mur via Klagenfurt and Villach to Italy (Tarvisio).
The railway company was established to create train services between the capital city of Vienna and the busy Adriatic sea port city of Trieste in order to meet trade demands in the upcoming age of industrialization.
Construction began in 1839 and the first section between Vienna and Gloggnitz was completed by the private Wien - Gloggnitzer Eisenbahn Gesellschaft in 1842. On 27 July 1857, the Austrian railway company k.k. Südliche Staatsbahn (SStB) completed the construction of Trieste's first railway facilities. They formed part of the Vienna–Trieste railway from Mürzzuschlag via Graz and Maribor and Ljubljana to Trieste, via the Semmering pass. On the same day, in the presence of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I, the new terminal station at Trieste, including its relatively modest original passenger building designed by the engineer Carl Ritter von Ghega (Italian: Carlo Ghega), was officially opened. It had been built on reclaimed land, at the site of the present Trieste Centrale. The two lines were connected by the Semmering Railway, when the railway over the Semmering mountain pass was built according to construction plans by Carl von Ghega between 1848 and 1854.
The following year, on 23 September 1858, the station, along with the rest of the line, passed into the ownership of the private railway company Imperial Royal Privileged Southern Railway Company of Austria, Venice and central Italy (German: Kaiserlich königliche privilegierte Südbahngesellschaft), following the takeover by that company of the privatised k.k. Südliche Staatsbahn, which constructed another line from Maribor via Klagenfurt, Villach and Lienz to Franzensfeste. The inclusion of Trieste in the main axis of the Austrian Südbahn generated an economic upswing in the largest and most important port city ruled by the Austrian monarchy, and strengthened its position in the Habsburg Empire. It lifted Austria-Hungary's international sea trade and established Trieste as the main sea port of all Southern and Eastern Central Europe (Lloyd Triestino). Trieste became the Empire's fourth largest city after Vienna, Budapest and Prague and the railway had substantial influence in developing tourism along the surrounding Adriatic coasts which made Trieste the center of the so called Austrian Riviera. Rapid development of trade routes to and from Trieste, and therefore also the city itself, soon led to a decision to replace the original passenger building. The new, more elegant, and richly styled Neo-Renaissance structure was designed by Wilhelm von Flattich. Its most notable features were a monumental hall, later known as the Royal Hall, and a majestic glass train hall. Its inauguration took place on 19 June 1878.
After World War I Trieste fell to Italy in 1921 and in 1923 the remaining Austrian part of the company was nationalized. During World War II the Südbahnhof was damaged and rebuilt only in 1956, while Ostbahnhof was integrated into it. Graz Main Station also had to be rebuilt after being totally destroyed by bombs, it was reopened in 1955.
During the Cold War trade between Vienna and Trieste was mainly run through Tarvisio in Italy which tracks had been equipped with electric power by 1963; the same for the branch from Vienna into Graz and Yugoslavia.