Jan Gustaw Jurkiewicz:
The main tunnel in Zabrze
The development of coal mining in Upper Silesia is inextricably linked with Prussian efforts to exploit the silver and lead ore and coal deposits after the Silesian wars. While the lead was to be used for weapons, the silver was to refill the state coffers. One material which was urgently needed for the development of the new ore mine and iron and steel mill in Strzebnica was coal. It was used for heating the smelting furnaces and operating the steam pumps for mine drainage. Therefore, the Upper Silesian Mining Inspectorate, which was then headed by Count Friedrich Wilhelm von Reden, started work on the main tunnel. It was to lay the entire mining area between the Königin Luise pit in Zabrze and the König colliery in Chorzów dry, transport the mined goods via the Klodnicki canal to the iron and steel mill in Gliwice and from there on to the Oder as well as to open up new coal deposits.
The article primarily examines the technical conditions for driving tunnels, taking water drainage and on-site conditions for transportation by tunnel into consideration.