Industrialization and Infrastructure

With the industrial revolution and the emergence of large-scale industries, there was an increasing need for efficient logistics. The transport of people and goods by rail played a decisive role here. The construction of new railway lines was initially carried out by private companies. One of these "groundbreaking" projects is a project of the "Cöln-Minden-Thüringer Verbindungs-Eisenbahngesellschaft". This private company planned the construction of a railway line between the Hessian state border and Lippstadt in 1846.

The route also led through the Eggegebirge, which was a challenge, at least for the course of the railway. The passes between the up to 464 meter high crests could not be mastered with the machines available at that time. Instead of an elaborate approach loop or other constructions, a tunnel project was planned. The approximately 560m long tunnel was planed to be build with the most modern construction technology and represented a century-long structure for the agricultural region of the Eggegebirge.

Today, only collapsed shafts and dumps have survived from what more than 500 construction workers started exactly 170 years ago and never completed. One of the mighty cuts as access to the former tunnel is even completely under water. It is being investigated in a cooperative project between the LWL (Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe), the working group for limnic and maritime archaeology (AMLA) at the Institute for Prehistory and Early History of the CAU Kiel and the chair. 

The excavation managers Fritz Jürgens and Nils Wolpert already prospected the site with students and volunteers in December last year (2016) and subaquatically examined the tunnel access road. Among other things, the entrances to the shafts, which are preserved as hollows in the forest floor, are above active. At the end of March / beginning of April 2017 a building floor plan was uncovered as part of an educational excavation, which is addressed by the excavations as the house of construction management. 

A current article can be found in Blickpunkt Archäologie 4, 2017(publisher Pfeil)

Press information about the projec: