Autumn excursion of the association, November 1, 2020

Many contacts connects us closely with other associations and allows us to discover their work.

So Lucas invited us to Ilmenau, for a special guided tour in “his” about 350m longmine “Volle Rose” in the Schortetal, which belongs to one of many former conveyor tunnels in the Oehrenstöcker revier. Fluoride and heavy spar were excavated, so on the east side (Oehrenstöcker side) of the Schorte under the 805-metre-high Horse Mountain and the 774 metres high Kienberg, as well as on the west side (Ilmenauside) under the 749 metres high Lindenberg, but here it was manganese. The mouthhole is located at an altitude of about 490 meters near the Schortemühle.

After a visit to the extensive outdoor area with museum, facilities, technology, locomotive shed and lorries, we were equipped with everything necessary and with mandatory distance compliance we took our places on the small-gauge railroad train. The highlight began with the entrance to the mine. The tunnel received us cold and damp. With a first height of max.170 cm, we often automatically pulled in our heads. Our host Lucas, himself a miner, explained to us in a comprehensible, interesting and expert way the work underground over the centuries to the present day and demonstrated to us the use of the technology used for mining. Even today, mining is still being driven up and dismantled in the area.

We learned about the history of the distinctive small-gauged track that it was laid in the Schorte tal at the end of the 19th century with a gauge of 600 mm. It led from the conveyor tunnels to the border hammer about three kilometres away, where the raw material could be poached and loaded onto the railway. Dismantled after the Second World War, trucks have now been used to transport the raw material. The tracks were only used for work in the tunnel. Since 2003, however, the track network in the Schortetal has been extended for tourist purposes, so that today you can use the line again to the Reinhardsmühle, which lies about 1,500 metres down the valley. Overall, there is a a 3.5 km long circular trail. The railway is operated with small locomotives from pre-war and GDR production.

We ended the interesting as well as instructive day with a delicious meal, many conversations and cozy fireplace warmth.

Our joint thanks go to Lucas again!

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