On the Rails of the Double Headed Eagle V

From the Puszta to the Adriatic Sea

A Film by Gernot Stadler and Björn Kölz

Documentation, 52 min, 2019
GS-Film, ORF/3sat
Written and directed by
Björn Kölz und Gernot Stadler
Gernot Stadler
Manfred Plessl
Production Management
Monika Orsini-Rosenberg
ORF Enterprise

The starting point of the cinematic journey is Budapest with its famous railway stations, Keleti and Nyugati Station, two magnificent cathedrals of the railway age. Georg von Habsburg leads us through Budapest, where his grandfather, Charles, was crowned the last king of Hungary, and accompanies us to Gödöllö, the favourite castle of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary.The filmmakers also visit the largest railway museum in Europe, the locomotive park in Budapest, and take a ride on a historic steam train on the oldest railway line in Hungary.

Just as the railway network in the Hungarian half of the Empire branched out like stars from Budapest to all directions, the documentary follows the old railway lines to Temesvar in today’s Romania, to the “Banater Semmering” with its many bridges and tunnels, to the forest railways in the southwest of Hungary or to Croatia, where the so-called “Hungarian Riviera” attracted many aristocrats, artists and citizens year after year. The port city of Fiume, today’s Rijeka, competed with the Austrian port of Trieste and even today many buildings in the old town or the old shipyards testify to the former glory of Rijeka during the Habsburg era.

“On the Rails of the Double Headed Eagle – From Puszta to the Adriatic Sea” is a cinematic journey through the times and to remote corners of the former multi-ethnic state of Austria-Hungary, which was held together by its more than 46,000-kilometer-long railway network until its demise.