|Since antiquity, the land connection between Baltic and Adriatic Seas has been used for trading and cultural exchange. In medieval times, this “amber route”, passing east of the Alps, was shifted to a line following intra-Alpine valleys orientated southwest - north-east, the so called “Diagonal Passage”. The historical “Südbahn”, however, lead partly through the Alps, crossing Semmering, but then continuing to Trieste further south-east, via Graz and Laibach, today Ljubljana. Cut through after the big wars of the 20th century, the railway connection Vienna-Italy follows now the “Diagonal Passage” at all its length, leaving Graz offside, in a basin separated by mountain ranges to the north and west and open to the east and south.|
Koralm railway will integrate Graz into the “Baltic-Adriatic Corridor” which together with its second key element, Semmering base tunnel, will be an attractive trans-continental rail axis with adequate technical parameters, following the “Diagonal Passage” in its general orientation. The improvement of accessibility and transport conditions, especially in the Southern parts of Austria, will lead to a considerable increase of the regional product and a measurable modal shift, in favour of environment and sustainable mobility. “Baltic-Adriatic Corridor”, the future axis of welfare from “Poland to Po-Land (Padania)” or - in Italian language - “from Polonia to Bologna”, will decisively contribute to the re-integration of Central Europe, enhancing cultural exchange and economic development across the former Iron Curtain.