As the technical service life of the Vehicle Testing Station in the Vienna Arsenal was drawing to an end, the question arose as to the necessity of a follow-up project.

A feasibility study on the demand, location and financing model for a new climatic wind tunnel was prepared in 1997 with the aim of keeping the unique expertise in the climatic testing of rail vehicles in Vienna.

The study was supported by 13 rail vehicle manufacturers and by the International Railway Union (UIC), showing the great interest of the European rail vehicle industry in a new climatic wind tunnel. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology and arsenal research, operator of the “old“ facility and supplier of expertise, provided public support for the project.

The feasibility study showed that there is an on-going demand for a climatic testing centre and also suggested that in future the potential clientele will comprise rail as well as road vehicle manufacturers (commercial vehicles). A large facility should therefore provide enough capacity for climatic tests on rail cars, buses and trucks. Vehicle manufacturers worldwide were asked to specify all relevant parameters, features and functions required of a modern climatic wind tunnel.