Lithography in black and red, originally dissected in 86 segments and mounted on brown linen on 5 pieces of different size, in original dark brown card slipcase with mounted orange label with gilt title (Slightly age-toned and stained, old pencil annotations in margins, linen torn on some spots and repaired with new white linen verso, slipcase with scuffed margins, label with loss of paper, otherwise in a good condition), slipcase 8°, print circa 41 x 600 cm if joined (16.1 x 236.2 inches).
This is the only known example of an extremely long engineer’s elevation profile of the Southern Austrian Rail, showing the railroad between Mürzzuschlag, in the vicinity of Graz, Austria, and Ljubljana, Slovenia. This part of the railroad was a part of extremely important rail route, connecting Vienna and Trieste, one of the main engineering achievements of the late 19thcentury.
The undated map was most probably made as a part of a project for the construction of the railroad, before it was built, to study technical difficulties of the terrain and contemporary pencil technical annotations and corrections on the print show the map was perhaps used on the site of the construction.
First plans for the construction of the railroad Vienna-Trieste were made in 1837, but the construction did not start until 1839. The rail was built in separate pieces, due to demanding terrain. The first obstacle was a demanding mountain pass Semmering in Austria, on the track Vienna-Graz, ending at the town Mürzzuschlag, where our map starts. The Semmering Railroad was not finished until 1854 and still remains one of the most impressive rail routes in Europe.
The track between Mürzzuschlag and Graz was finished in 1844 after two years of construction, followed by the rest of the rail until August 1849, when the first train arrived to Ljubljana.
The map can be dated between 1842, when the first measurements on the track Mürzzuschlag-Graz begun, and 1845, when the surveys of the terrain were made on the Slovenian part of the rail. After choosing between three different possibilities of a track between Celje and Ljubljana, the engineers finally agreed on a route presented on the last part of this map in 1845.
This map is probably a working copy of an engineer, measuring the terrain for the railway. Maps, such as this one, were often printed for technical use only and were not publicly distributed. We could not trace any other copies of this map on the market nor in institutions worldwide.
References: n.a. / unrecorded.