History of the monastery valley
The Klostertal has always had an important meaning as a connection between East and West, it is the link between Tyrol and the Lake Constance area. The Klostertal has been an important transit valley since Roman times. Progress and prosperity are linked to the construction of the railroad over the Arlberg.
The Klostertal is not only the valley of the post office, which used to make its way here to Vienna, but still also the valley of the railroad. Avalanches, mudflows, floods, rockfalls and landslides influenced the development of this link between eastern and western Austria in both negative and positive ways. The salt trade and mining contributed to the improvement of the roads.
Valley of the Post and Valley of the Railway
The population lived on traffic for centuries. In the 14th century, more and more goods were transported over the Arlberg. After the introduction of tariffs in the 16. and 17th century, the economic and strategic importance of the Arlberg traffic diminished.
- In 1593 the first plans for the construction of a road over the Arlberg appeared.
- In 1785 the Arlberg pass road was opened throughout.
- In 1796, postal stations opened in Stuben, Klösterle and Dalaas. Emperor Joseph II (1741-1790) promoted the expansion of the Arlberg Road out of strategic interests. Under Empress Maria Theresa (1717-1780) the Arlberg road was improved.
The invention of the gasoline and diesel engine, and eventually the automobile, accelerated the expansion of the road.
1824: Opening of a modern road over the Arlberg. From May 1, 1840, daily postal service over the Arlberg.
Dalaas has always been an important transshipment point for goods and a popular stop for travelers.
With the completion of the Arlberg road in 1824, a post office and horse changing station was established in Dalaas at the „Zur Post“ inn.
1884: Completion of the Arlberg Railway. Since then, Langen am Arlberg has been a railroad station.
Klösterle played an important role for the mule traffic, over the Arlberg- and over the Flexenpass.
1978: Opening of the Arlberg road tunnel
Stuben was always a key point before the ascent to the Flexen and Arlberg passes. It is still a worthwhile stop today.
The Arlberg road tunnel, the breakthrough of which was celebrated on November 11, 1977, brought great relief to the population, as did the Langen tunnel (construction period: 1987-1991), the Wilden slope bridge and the Dalaas tunnel (1978-1979). The great distance of the expressway from the settlements are a great blessing and relief for the residents.
In the Klostertal valley there are important traffic connections and traffic constructions like the most difficult mountain railroad in Europe (Dultinger 1984): the Arlbergbahn on the very steep „Nördliche Talflanke“ between Bludenz and Langen am Arlberg and the Arlberg-Schnellstraße.
This railroad line is an open-air museum of construction geology and the forces of nature: Avalanches, mudslides, rockfall, rock avalanches and landslides. Only with difficulty can we imagine today the engineering skill, manpower and organization with which the mountain and the forces of nature were conquered between 1880 and 1884.
There are numerous retaining walls, avalanche shelters, bridges, viaducts, shelters, tunnels, leaning tunnels, dams, culverts, catch basins and quarry stone masonry along the approx. 25 kilometer long western ramp.
The importance of this construction site can also be seen from the fact that Emperor Franz Joseph I visited the excavation works.
At the Arlberg railroad tunnel, 5531 people were employed at the eastern portal in St. Anton – St. Jakob during the peak period (1883/84), 4825 at the western portal in Langen am Arlberg, and 14401 at the ramp section between Landeck and Bludenz. The line was opened to traffic on September 25, 1884.
The Klostertal innkeepers were happy, but they also had their work cut out for them. The tavern in Langen am Arlberg, twelve taverns in Klösterle and twelve taverns in Dalaas were not always enough to satisfy the drive and lust for life of the „foreign workers“.
The railroad line is largely a slope line (Lehnenstraße), which also led to the fact that the federal railroads have carried out slope protections with very great effort, and only these protective measures enabled the settlement of the valley. It should not be forgotten that the railroad was the most important employer in the valley for several decades, which prevented the depopulation of the monastery valley.
ÖBB continuously carries out very costly renovations and improvements and invests a lot of money in the safety of the Arlberg line. Examples are the Blisadona tunnel in 1988 and bridge and gallery renovations.
The former railroad stations Klösterle, Wald am Arlberg, Dalaas, Hintergasse, Braz have not been operated since the timetable change in May 1999; the regional train service through the Klostertal valley was thus discontinued.