Bahnhofstraße 29, 4843 Ampflwang.
MAY to 08-OCT Sat, Sun, Hol 10-16:30.
School Holidays Wed-Sun, Hol 10-16:30.
Adults EUR 14, Children (6-15) EUR 7, Students EUR 14, Seniors EUR 14, Families (2+4) EUR 28.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 14.
|Classification:||Mining Museum Lignite Mine|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Address:||Lokpark Ampflwang, Bahnhofstraße 29, 4843 Ampflwang, Tel: +43-664-5087664. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1760||lignite deposits discovered.|
|1856||Wolfsegg-Traunthaler Kohlenwerks- und Eisenbahngesellschaft AG (WTK) founded.|
|1870||mining operations of Count Arco at Windischhub, Hausruckedt and Eberschwang acquired.|
|1872||WTK purchased by the Steyr arms manufacturer Josef Werndl and Georg Ritter von Aichinger.|
|1925||Zentralsortierungsanlage Ampflwang and Brecher Buchleiten built.|
The village Ampfelwang is located in the Hausruck, low hills which are covered by forest. The hills contain lignite, which was mined in numerous underground mines. The lignite was transported by mining train underground to the Brecher Buchleiten, a former coal crusher of the Wolfsegg-Traunthaler Kohlenwerks AG near Buchleiten. From here the crushed coal was transported to the central sorting plant in Ampflwang for further processing. Originally, this was done via a material cableway, but in 1964, the cableway was replaced by a conveyor belt. The crusher and the conveyor belt were in operation until 1995, when the mining ended. The conveyor belt was demolished after closure, the crusher is largely in its original condition, at least from the outside, and much of the old machinery has also been preserved. The crusher and the central sorting plant are listed as Historic Monuments.
The whole area is full of relics from 100 years of lignite mining, nevertheless there is no show mine and no underground tour. The centre of mining relics is a railroad station, which is the location of the Eisenbahn- und Bergbaumuseum Ampfelwang (Railroad and Mining Museum). The railroad was customer and infrastructure for the transport of coal. Today the exhibition shows a wide range of trains, locomotives and wagons, including historic mining trains.
The museum is divided into the mining part, which is mainly located in the former central sorting plant, and the railway part, which is also known as Lokpark Ampflwang. The museum is run by the Österreichische Gesellschaft für Eisenbahngeschichte (ÖGEG, Austrian Society for Railway History) with an extensive collection of locomotives. The Railway and Mining Museum was the main venue of the Upper Austrian Provincial Exhibition 2006 "Coal and Steam". The former Ampflwang railway is operated during the summer months as a museum railway and feeder to the museum.
The lignite deposits in the Hausruck were discovered in 1760, but the low quality coal was obviously of little interest, especially as there was no cheap way to transport it to the customer. It was not before 1785 that the state built the first test tunnels north of Wolfsegg and in 1786 near Geboltskirchen and sent test supplies to Linz and Steyr. Mining began at the end of the 18th century as a result of the salt mining activities near Gmunden and Ebensee. The salt was mined by cooking brine, which required enormous amounts of wood, and created a massive shortage. So they were interested in an alternative, and the Obersalzamt (Upper Salt Office) in Gmunden became developed the Hausruck coal. They founded the miners' colony Kohlgrube north of Wolfsegg, where the Barbara-Stollen was opened in 1794. The coal was transported by horse-drawn carts to Lambach and from there by ship either up the river Traun to the salt works in Gmunden and Ebensee or down the river to Linz and Vienna. The cities used the lignite for domestic heating, as the price of firewood had risen steadily because of the salt mines. Mining ended with the French Wars in 1809, the Hausruck region fell to Bavaria and only returned to Austria in 1816.
Several Gewerkschaft (mining companies) competed with each other during the following decades. But mining developed very slowly. The deposits had several owners, and in 1855/1856 the Wolfsegg-Traunthaler Kohlenwerks- und Eisenbahngesellschaft AG was founded by merging the grounds of Alois Miesbach, Baron Rothschild, and Graf Julien-Wallsee. It soon acquired the mining operations of Count Arco at Windischhub, Hausruckedt and Eberschwang. The entire mining industry in the Hausruck was now in the hands of WTK. In 1863 the production already amounted to 130,000 t and in 1870 to 210,000 t. The main customers were the railways in Austria and Bavaria (57%), but coal was also delivered to the DDSG, to a number of smaller companies and to private individuals. In 1872, the company sold it's mine and railway property to Josef Werndl, General Director of the Steyr Works, and to Georg Ritter von Aichinger, Vice President of the Kronprinz-Rudolf-Bahn (Crown Prince Rudolf Railway). In 1911, the mining operations were sold by the heirs of Werndl and von Aichinger to the newly founded Wolfsegg-Traunthaler Kohlenwerks-Aktiengesellschaft (WTK). This company operated the mines until the closure in 1995.