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In loving memory of Dr. Josef Theurer

It is with deep sadness that we regret to announce the passing of our company founder, Dr. Josef Theurer, on 19 March 2020. He passed away peacefully at the age of 91.

His technical genius, discipline, modesty, diligence and, in particular, his compassion have made Plasser & Theurer a successful, international business. This has had a lasting impact on the railway system and revolutionised track maintenance.

Josef Theurer's professional achievements are second to none: he registered far more than 1,000 patents during his lifetime. Together with Franz Plasser, he built a strong and successful company. That idea from 1953 is what has created jobs for over 4,000 people in Austria and around the world to date. Having managed the family company for sixty years, he handed over the reins to his grandson, Johannes Max-Theurer, in 2011.

Thanks to Josef Theurer’s innovations, the arduous manual labour needed for the construction and maintenance of railway track could be replaced by mechanised methods. This in turn led to a considerable increase in productivity and hence more efficient and economical track maintenance. Because of his outstanding efforts, Plasser & Theurer machines are operating on all of the world’s high-speed lines.

“My grandfather, Dr. Josef Theurer, will always be a role model: as a pioneer, innovator, and entrepreneur, but above all as a person,” says Johannes Max-Theurer.

1929 born on 3 September in Linz, Austria

1948 graduates from Linz Higher Technical College (HTL), specialisation in mechanical engineering, and spends four years as a design engineer at the Linz shipyard

1953 founds the company Plasser & Theurer

1972 becomes responsible for the entire company after Franz Plasser passes away

1976 receives an honorary doctorate from Graz University of Technology, Austria

2012 is nominated for the European Inventor Award in the category “Lifetime achievement”

Josef Theurer was a pioneer in the world of modern track maintenance. The railway was his passion in life.

His numerous inventions – over 1,000 patent registrations attest to them – include the first hydraulic track tamping machine, the world's first continuous-action 4-sleeper tamping machine as well as the first high-speed track relaying train using the production-line technique.

Under his sixty-year leadership, Plasser & Theurer developed into a global partner in the world of railways.