Germain a roughly triangular district north of the Karawanken range was referred to a popular plebiscite.
This measure provided for the construction of a railway over the Tauern Mountains between Schwarzach in Salzburg and Mollbriicken in Carinthia; and of a railway over the Karawanken between Trieste and Klagenfurt, with a branch to Villach.
The Karawanken railway, a direct connexion with Bohemia and the northern industrial provinces of Austria, is calculated to counteract the gravitation of traffic towards the German ports; while the Tauern railway constitutes the shortest route to the interior of Austria and to the south of Germany.
The southern Tirol, the chief passes into Italy, strategic points on the Istrian and Dalmatian coasts, were strongly fortified, while in the interior the Tauern, Karawanken and Wochein railways were constructed, partly in order to facilitate the movement of troops towards the Italian border.
The principal sections of this line were named after the ranges they pierced, the chief tunnels being bored through the Tauern, Karawanken and Wochein hills.