The advantages of the railway were recognized not only in Vienna. In the Habsburg Empire's provinces, too, people banked on this new type of transportation as a bringer of progress. Using the example of Galicia, this article shows how the initiative and the involvement of local actors promoted the building of a railway network in the north-eastern crownland. It focuses on the main motives for the implementation of the railway in Vienna versus those in Lemberg (Lwów, Lviv). The article is divided into three parts. While the first part deals with the expectations raised by the railway, the second part concentrates on the political circumstances which accompanied the construction of the Galician railway network. The third part focuses on the Galician capital as a traffic junction in a polycentric railway network.