Coal Mine Prosper Haniel XVIII – Arrival of Diesel Engine and “Kumpel” Exiting
In December 2018 Prosper Haniel, the last active coal mine of the Ruhr area, was closed down. Before the end “Sounds of Changes”-project worker Konrad Gutkowski had a last chance to document its disappearing sounds.
The coal mine in Bottrop was founded in 1856. Regular mining began in 1863 with about 60.000 tons of coal per year. Until 2016 it reached a depth of 1240 metres and mined 1.8 Million tons of coal per year. During the “Wirtschaftswunder” in the 1950s up to 12.000 coal miners worked at Prosper Haniel. Structural change and the decline of coal mining began in the late 1960s. Due to high production costs in Germany coal has been increasingly imported from China, India and the USA. One after the other the coal mines in the Ruhr area were closed down.
Not only are coal and stones transported within a coal mine, but also the miners and their working equipment are travelling to and from the various sites of work. Besides the suspended monorails diesel engines on regular tracks are used for transportation. This a recording of a diesel engine arriving at one of the train stations of the coal mine. As the Kumpel (coal miners) are exiting the train they greet the recording team and their guides. Many of them say “Glück auf!”. It is a common greeting among coal miners.
Sound: Jens Meißburger
Photo: Jochen Balke (Sirius Images)