100th Anniversary of the Austrian Federal Railways 30.09.2023

100 years of ÖBB

This year, the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) celebrates its 100th anniversary, and Austrian marks this occasion with an especially innovative miniature sheet.

This miniature sheet is remarkable in numerous ways. It's made from recycled acrylic glass and is just over two millimetres thick. The material references the station name signs found in every train station. Each stamp has a detachable slip, modelled after these signs, which displays the name of an Austrian ÖBB station in the characteristic white lettering on a blue background. Thus, there are more than 1,000 variations of the miniature sheet, though the primary stamp design – depicting ÖBB trains from different eras – remains consistent. The stamps were printed in multiple phases using screen and digital printing processes, mirrored on the reverse side, similar to reverse glass painting. The printed panels were then precision cut using high-precision lasers, including the characteristic perforations associated with stamps. On the reverse side of the slips with the station names, there's a thin magnetic film, allowing the miniature station sign to be affixed to objects like a fridge.

Another unique feature is the NFC chip attached to the reverse of each stamp. Using a smartphone, an augmented reality animation can be activated, showcasing a historic steam locomotive entering a tunnel and emerging as a modern electric locomotive – a miniaturised journey through time, reminding us of Austria's rich railway history. The railway era began in Austria in 1837 with the Emperor Ferdinand Northern Railway. However, post the monarchy's fall, the rail sections were heavily in debt and structurally outdated. Consequently, on 19 July 1923, with the Federal Railway Act, the ÖBB – initially known as BBÖ – was established as an independent entity. On 1 October 1923, the company started operating with nearly 113,000 employees and 2,600 steam locomotives. In 2022, roughly 253 million passengers and 88 million tonnes of goods were transported by train, with the electricity used entirely sourced from renewable energies.

Value: 6.50 Euro
First day of issue: 30.09.2023
Stamp size: 47.50 x 36.00 x 2.10 mm
Graphic design: David Gruber
Printing: Cartor Security Printing
Digital and screen printing
Quantity: 181,850 stamps in blocks of 1 stamps

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Click here for an overview of the 2023 station availability (available in German only)