With the coming into force of the Federal Railways Act 1992 (Bundesbahngesetz 1992) Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB), up until then an economic entity run by the Austrian Federal Republic as part of its economic activities, was transformed into an (integrated railway) company with separate legal personality operating as a special legal entity (essentially, a hybrid including elements of both an Austrian stock corporation (AG) and a limited liability corporation (GmbH).
To reduce the need for State funding by optimizing the efficiency and competitivity of ÖBB on the one hand and meeting the EU requirement for non-discriminatory access to rail infrastructure for third parties on the other hand, the Federal Railways Structure Act 2003 (Bundesbahnstrukturgesetz 2003) provided for a thorough restructuring of the ÖBB Company. Today, ÖBB is a Group of companies (operational since 1 January 2005) with a holding company at the very top and several independent subsidiary companies responsible for their business results.
ÖBB-Holding AG has been designed as a lean company charged with strategic tasks. Its corporate object includes the exercise of share rights in the Group companies, the restructuring of ÖBB, and the safeguarding of the share rights in the restructured companies with the objective of a uniform strategic alignment. To achieve this objective, ÖBB-Holding AG may implement any measures which may be necessary or useful to its corporate object (see §4 of the Bundesbahngesetz/Federal Railways Act).
Other important legal provisions are enshrined in particular in railway law, the Rail Infrastructure Funding Act, the High-Performance Lines Act and the Federal law on the establishment of Unterinntalbahn (non-exhaustive list).
All Federal law acts as amended from time to time are available from the legal information database of the Federal Republic on ris.bka.gv.at.