Flying sparks from braking trains and damaged brakeshoes falling off the trains are the main reasons for also major forest fires along railway routes in Austria. Especially long, steep and curvy railway routes, as they frequently occur in Austria, make frequent braking necessary and are therefore responsible for embankment fires. Together with topographic conditions, climatic and fuel conditions play a significant role along railway routes and facilitate the spread of fire beyond the embankments. The performance or lack of vegetation tending measures plays a significant role in enhancing or reducing the fire risk along railway routes. Two railway routes characteristic for Austria were chosen for assessment. One route is part of the so-called "Tauernstrecke" and is located in Carinthia, the other one in Styria; both are part of two major international transit routes with a high train frequency. A third site has been chosen along the route between Villach and Arnoldstein, where a braking train has caused a major forest fire in July 2006. Along all three railway routes sparks from braking trains, or glowing brakeshoes, have caused major forest fires with significant economic and ecological damage. Investigation results indicate that all three railway routes are highly susceptible to fire. Fuel conditions on the embankments were found to differ significantly from each other depending on the state of fuel accumulation. Fire risk was found to be high along all railway routes making fuel management measures particularly necessary. Such management efforts consist of bio-engineering measures as well as mechanical measures, or even some amount of controlled burning, for the reduction of the fire risk along railway routes. Because forest stands are highly at risk of a fire outbreak, especially where they reach directly to the track, silvicultural measures to reduce the fire risk on embankments along railway routes are proposed as well.