Pushing tons of cargo

With the outgoing 18th century, the emerging coal fields of both Upper Silesia and England were facing high costs of mine drainage as well as transport. Their solution was to use drainage adits as underground canals.

In Upper Silesia, the so called Main Key Hereditary Adit drained about 20 collieries including the country’s biggest mine, "Queen Louise" in Zabrze. The same adit served to transport coal via Kłodnicki Canal to Gliwice foundry and to the river Oder. Dudley Canal in England drained the Tipton Colliery and facilitated transport between local limestone mines and Birmingham Canal Navigations.

Today, the Zabrze mine and Dudley Canal take visitors on underground boat trips to demonstrate how boat men used to push tons of loads ahead by hand, as done in Zabrze, or by lying across the boat and ‚legging‘ along the tunnel roof.