B bábi, Tibor

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Brád, Wooden Rail Track – Transylvania (Erdély, now in Romania) – Some primitive rail tracks used in the mines of Transylvania already in the early 1500s, considered to be the forerunner of today’s railways. The mine-cars were mounted on rolling wooden axles outfitted at their ends with stabilizing wheel rims and pushed by men or, when several cars were linked, pulled by horses on wooden rails. One of these simple wooden tracks, dating from the early days, was still in use in the 19th century in the Apostol Mine No. XII, Brád, County Hunyad. One section of this wooden rail track, complete with switches and a car, ended up in Berlin, where it has survived both World Wars. It is exhibited under Catalogue No. 152 as a carefully kept memento of the history of transportation in the Museum of Transport and Technology (Museum für Verkehr und Technik). An English translation follows the original German text, posted in front of the wooden tracks “Wooden rail tracks from the 16th century. The tracks and car were obtained from a Hungarian gold mine (Apostle Mine, Brád, Transylvania) in 1889. The tracks and ties (sleepers) were made of round timber. The ends of the tracks were flattened. The tracks’ gauge is about 48 cm. The single piece of movable lever, which unites itself with the tongue and heart piece serve to set the switch. The car, which belonged to the tracks, has wheels made of single pieces of wood”. – B: 1078, 1020, T: 7674.

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