Rope ride

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Outgoing shift, Ruhr area 1961

As Seilfahrt or Seilfahrung , formerly rope driving , driving on the rope or ride on the ropes , is known in mining the carriage of passengers in a bay with on a rope hanging conveyor cage or other suitable and mining authorities approved buckets . The term cable trip is derived from driving , the mining term for the movement of miners. The cable car was only introduced into mining in the 19th century. Previously, the miners had to laboriously drive in and out of the pit by driving or, where available, with driving skills. When traveling by rope, high safety requirements are placed on the technical equipment concerned. Furthermore, the conveyor cage may only be moved at a significantly lower speed when traveling by cable than when transporting goods . In addition, the cable car may only be carried out if it has been approved by the mining authority.

Basics and history

In the transition from tunnel construction to civil engineering , the mining industry faced the great challenge of how the miners could get to their workplace on site without great effort. While the miners were able to walk to the site without much effort when building the tunnel, they now had to laboriously climb into the pit via journeys. The problem worsened as the mining industry plunged into greater depths . Now there was also the great amount of time that the miners needed to climb on the journeys. The miners often had to descend several hundred meters over dirty and slippery journeys and then climb back up at the end of the shift. This was extremely exhausting and also affected the miners' health. It often happened that a miner had an accident while driving in this way . In the countries of England, Belgium and Hungary, the first half of the 19th century began to move the miners into the mine using seats attached to the hoist rope. In Germany, however, this method could not be implemented because the Prussian Upper mining authorities did not permit the driving experiences on the rope as they were of the opinion that this form of driving experiences is more dangerous than other forms of driving experiences in the shaft. In 1833 the first attempts at driving art were carried out on the Tiefen Georg tunnel and this new form of machine driving was introduced in the Harz mining industry. In the other mountain areas of Germany, however, the driving art could not prevail. After the English mines had gained sufficient experience with ropes and the fears of the Prussian mining authorities had not been confirmed, ropes were also approved in Prussian mining in 1858. However, special safety rules were stipulated by the upper mining authorities for the cable car.

The forms of rope experience

The manner in which the miners roped was very different. In shafts with a lower depth, where the shaft was still conveyed by means of reels , a round piece of wood was attached to the haulage rope made of hemp. The miner sat on this piece of wood so that he took the hauling rope between his legs and then held onto it with one hand. With the other hand he pushed away from the shaft joints . Another possibility was for the miner to sit on a toggle attached to the hauling rope. An improvement in terms of a secure fit was the Fahrknecht, which consisted of two strong leather straps. One of the two belts served as a seat. Both leather straps were attached to an apron chain that was attached to the hauling rope. This shape of the seat allowed three miners to enter the pit at the same time. The miner called these forms of rope experience, in which the rider was transported hanging on the rope, "driving on the bare ropes". Another option for the cable car was for a miner to stand with one leg in the delivery bucket and use the other leg to steer the bucket through the shaft so that it did not hit or hit. However, this form of rope experience was dangerous for the rider, as he could easily injure himself. None of these forms were able to establish themselves in the Harz mountain region. The miners rejected these driving methods and continued to use the driving art. A safety improvement was the rope ride in a bucket guided by two ropes . In deeper shafts, only conveyor racks were used for cable travel , which were closed with wire grids to protect the passengers. In the second half of the 19th century, rope experience was also introduced in the Freiberg mountain area.

Technical equipment of the plant

The shaft hoisting system with rack hoisting has proven itself best for cable travel . With this system, the bucket can be used both for shaft conveyance and for rope travel without the need for major modifications to the system. However, the conveyor racks must have a specific structure so that they can be used twice. The conveyor racks must be provided with a roof and side walls. This is necessary so that the rider's clothing does not get caught anywhere while driving. There must be lockable doors or pull-up grids made of wire mesh attached to ring bars, which can be easily installed or removed as required, on the front sides of the conveyor racks. So that all of the shelves can be climbed at the same time on frames with multiple shelves, there are aerial platforms both on the suspended bench and in the filling location . These platforms can be reached via stairs and have the same height clearance as the individual supporting floors. With modern conveyor systems, the distance is usually two meters. Instead of a stage, there can also be a cable car basement in the filling location. Unless they are illuminated by natural light, the ropeway stops must be brightly illuminated by artificial light. The shaft must be closed with shaft gates at the rope travel stops. All operating elements must be interlocked so that when the rope travel switch is switched on, the swinging platform, the sliding device, the shaft lock and the shaft gates can only be operated under certain conditions. Instead of using the shaft hoisting system, there is also the option of installing a separate cable drive system in the shaft. As a result, a cable car journey can take place without the shaft conveyance being impaired.

Driving speed and number of people

The travel speeds when traveling by cable are regulated differently depending on the system. In some mountain areas, for example, it was only allowed to be half or two thirds of the speed for transporting goods. In other areas, the rope ride was only allowed to take place at a speed of 1.85 m / s when entering and at a speed of 3.7 m / s when exiting. The maximum speed at that time was 4 m / s for both directions. In the English mining industry, rope travel was carried out at a speed of 3 m / s to 7 m / s. But there were already mines on which the rope journey was carried out at a speed of up to 10 m / s. In the 19th century, the speed of the cable car in the Prussian mines was not allowed to exceed 6 m / s. In the GDR the speed of the cable car was regulated in such a way that in shafts that were 50 meters deep, the speed was not allowed to exceed 5.6 m / s. In shafts longer than 400 meters, the rope journey could be carried out at a speed of 12 m / s. In the FRG in the first half of the 20th century, the speed of the cable car was set at 10 m / s for shafts with a steam hoisting machine and 12 m / s for shafts with an electric hoisting machine . In Austria, the maximum speed on the cable car is limited to 10 m / s, but it can also be changed by applying to the Berghauptmannschaft . Initially, only one person could be transported on the cable car. With the help of the driver it was possible to transport up to three people at once. Later, up to six people could be driven in one direction and six people in the other direction on a conveyor frame at the same time. With today's modern shaft hoisting systems, up to 160 people can be driven on one cage at the same time.

Types of ropeway

Basically, a distinction is made between regular and single ropes. Regular Seilfahrt takes to the plant manager instead set times of the mine. For this purpose, the miners gather in the shaft hall before the journey. In order to ensure that the cable car journey can be carried out quickly and as quickly as possible, a carefully thought-out plan is drawn up beforehand. If possible, this ropeway schedule is coordinated with the travel times of the passenger train. Different methods were tried out in order to optimize the cable car ride. Of all the possibilities to optimize the cable car, starting off in certain areas has emerged as the best way. Here, the approaching miners are grouped according to Steigerrevieren and drive to and from the shift together. This has the advantage that all miners arrive at their workplace closed. It also increases the number of working hours. In addition to the regular rope ride, there is also the single rope ride. A special form of single rope ride is the self-propelled rope ride. In this case, the person authorized to self-drive the rope ride independently carries out the rope ride and also gives the departure commands. All supervisors such as steers, operators and slingers are entitled to self-propelled ropes.

Implementation of the cable car

The miners enter the conveyor frame on foot. The shaft gates and basket gates are open. This process takes place simultaneously on all floors. There is a stopper on all stops for this purpose. After the respective basket levels are full, the basket gates are locked from the outside. As soon as all gates are closed, the haulier receives the drive command and starts the haulier. During the rope journey, the riders on the cage must remain calm. You are not allowed to leave the seats you have taken while driving. When Seilfahrt heavy objects or may gezähe be taken. Furthermore, it is forbidden to bring open lights . However, the miner's lamps you have brought with you must be switched on during the journey. At the destination, the travelers leave the conveyor frame again.

Accidents on the cable car

Up until the 1920s there were accidents every year on the cable car, mostly with fatal results. As a rule, the riders have no influence on the dangers coming from outside during the rope journey. Between 1855 and 1859, an average of 81 miners had accidents in England every year. In Prussia, up to eight miners had accidents every year while driving with the art of driving during the same period. In percentage terms, however, the proportion of accident miners to the total number of miners in Prussia was higher. One of the main causes of rope accidents was the rope break . The reason for this was the decrease in the load-bearing capacity of the hoisting ropes caused by use. Due to the nature of the shafts, it also happened that the conveyor cage stuck and hooked under the shaft timbering. Other causes of the accident were errors in the operation of the shaft signal system and operating errors in the hoisting machine, for example. B. by starting up too abruptly or putting the basket down too hard. In addition, there were cable travel accidents caused by overdoing or derailing the hoist cage. It also happened that a miner fell from the basket while riding the rope. There were also accidents during the cable car ride that occurred when entering or leaving the cage. Often the reason for these accidents was that those affected entered or left the basket when it was not still. A large number of safety devices and safety regulations counteracted these causes of accidents in the years that followed.

Safety devices and safety regulations

In order to be able to counteract the effects of a broken rope, safety gears were installed on the conveyor cages . The purpose of the safety gear was to ensure the safety of the travelers in the event of a rope break or breakage of parts of the intermediate harness. However, the desired effect did not occur and there were more serious accidents due to malfunctioning of the safety gear than broken cables with the corresponding consequences. For this reason, at the beginning of the 1950s, the safety gears for conveyor baskets in German mining were again banned by the mining authorities. In their place, greater attention was paid to greater rope safety during rope travel. In the CIS countries, safety gears are still required for single rope hoists. In addition, the signaling device for cable cars must be designed in such a way that operating errors are avoided. In addition, all safety-relevant assemblies and components such as the signal system, the conveyor ropes and the brakes must be regularly checked and maintained. It is stipulated by mining law at what intervals and how which tests must be carried out. The first mining regulations were the Prussian and Bavarian mining regulations. The mountain police regulations governed the conditions under which the cable car journey could be approved. Further regulations followed in the Mining Ordinance for Shafts and Inclined Conveyor Systems (BVOS). Here, in particular in Section 3, the size of the respective cableway systems and the permissible travel speeds are regulated. The technical equipment of a cable car system is regulated in the technical requirements for shaft and inclined conveyor systems (TAS). Here, in particular, the equipment of the cable car system with safety devices, such as the overdrive protection and the safety supports , which are intended to secure the cage from falling into the shaft in the event of an overdrive, are regulated. Furthermore, the vertical dimensions of the shaft that go beyond the upper and lower stops, such as. B. the shaft sump specified. However, technical facilities such as the shaft guidance and the impact beams are also regulated in the TAS.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Walter Bischoff , Heinz Bramann, Westfälische Berggewerkschaftskasse Bochum: The small mining dictionary. 7th edition, Verlag Glückauf GmbH, Essen, 1988, ISBN 3-7739-0501-7 .
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k Julius Ritter von Hauer: The hoisting machines of the mines. 3rd increased edition, published by Arthur Felix, Leipzig 1885, pp. 147, 148, 165, 166, 255, 256, 793, 794.
  3. ^ A b c Heinrich Veith: German mountain dictionary with evidence. Published by Wilhelm Gottlieb Korn, Breslau 1871, pp. 166–168, 445.
  4. ^ Wilhelm Hermann, Gertrude Hermann: The old collieries on the Ruhr. 4th edition, Verlag Karl Robert Langewiesche, successor Hans Köster KG, Königstein i. Taunus 1994, ISBN 3-7845-6992-7 .
  5. ^ Tilo Cramm, Joachim Huske: Miners' language in the Ruhr area. 5th revised and redesigned edition, Regio-Verlag, Werne 2002, ISBN 3-929158-14-0 .
  6. a b c d e f g h i j Gustav Köhler: Textbook of mining science. Second improved edition, Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig 1887, pp. 450–452.
  7. a b c d e Carl Hartmann: About the machines used to drive the miners in the shafts or the so-called driving skills. Printed and published by Gottfried Basse, Quedlinburg and Leipzig 1846, pp. 5, 6.
  8. a b c Technical requirements for shaft and inclined conveyor systems (TAS). Verlag Hermann Bellmann, Dortmund 2005.
  9. a b c d e f g h i W. Sindern, St. Borowski: Safety considerations on shaft hoisting systems for access to a future deep geological repository. Work report NAB 14-75, National Cooperative for the Storage of Radioactive Waste (Ed.), Wettingen 2014, pp. 5, 15, 23, 24, 28, 29, 49, 55, 71, 73.
  10. H. Hoffmann: Textbook of mining machines (power and work machines). 1st edition, Springer Verlag, Berlin / Heidelberg 1926, p. 167.
  11. a b c Lorenz Pieper: The situation of the miners in the Ruhr area. JG Cotta'sche Buchhandlung Nachhaben, Stuttgart and Berlin 1903, pp. 8, 35–38.
  12. a b G. Hoppe: Conveyor cage with fall brake for mining rope travel. AW Schade's Buchdruckerei, Berlin 1876, pp. V, VI.
  13. a b c Albert Serlo: Supplementary volume to the guide to mining science from Lottner-Serlo. Published by Julius Springer, Berlin 1872, pp. 172, 173.
  14. a b c d e Albert Serlo: Guide to mining science. Second volume, 4th revised edition, published by Julius Springer, Berlin 1884, pp. 281–285.
  15. ^ A b c d e Carl Hellmut Fritzsche: Textbook of mining science. Second volume, 7th edition, Springer Verlag, Berlin / Göttingen / Heidelberg 1950, pp. 509, 510, 538-540.
  16. a b c d Carl Hellmut Fritzsche: Textbook of mining science with special consideration of hard coal mining. First volume, ninth completely revised edition, Springer Verlag, Berlin / Heidelberg 1955, pp. 417, 418, 433–435.
  17. ^ A b c d e Carl Hellmut Fritzsche: Textbook of mining science. First volume, 10th edition, Springer Verlag, Berlin / Göttingen / Heidelberg 1961, pp. 460, 461, 467, 494.
  18. a b c d e f g Herold: Worker protection in the Prussian mountain police regulations. Published by Julius Springer Verlag, Berlin 1904, pp. 72, 73, 79-86.
  19. a b c Fritz Herbst: Possibilities for shortening the rope journey in deep shafts. In: Glückauf, Berg- und Hüttenmännische magazine. Association for Mining Interests in the Upper Mining District Dortmund (Ed.), No. 6, 58th year, February 11, 1922, pp. 157–164.
  20. ^ BW Boki, Gregor Panschin: Bergbaukunde. Kulturfond der DDR (Ed.), Verlag Technik Berlin, Berlin 1952, p. 561.
  21. a b c Mountain Police Ordinance for the cable car. In: Federal Law Gazette for the Republic of Austria 14th Regulation, year 1968, pp. 387, 388.
  22. ^ A b General Association of German Hard Coal Mining (Ed.): Hard coal mining in Germany. Printing IDAG Industriedruck, Essen 2006, p. 5.
  23. a b Mining Ordinance for Shaft and Inclined Conveyor Systems (BVOS) of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia of December 4, 2003
  24. a b c d e Fritz Heise, Fritz Herbst: Textbook of mining science with special consideration of hard coal mining. Second volume, fifth increased and improved edition, published by Julius Springer, Berlin 1932, pp. 552, 650, 651.
  25. a b c Fritz Heise, Fritz Herbst: Textbook of mining science with special consideration of hard coal mining. Second volume, third and fourth increased and improved edition, Springer Verlag, Berlin / Heidelberg 1923, p. 483, 529 550.


  1. A Schurz chain , also Quenselkette or Zwiesel chain called, is a chain , the buckets are suspended from the conveying cable with in the well production. (Source: Heinrich Veith: German Mountain Dictionary with evidence. )
  2. The higher permissible travel speed is due to the fact that electrical hoisting machines are equipped with better safety technology on the one hand and that they rotate more evenly than steam-driven hoisting machines on the other. (Source: Carl Hellmut Fritzsche: Textbook of Mining Studies with Special Consideration of Hard Coal Mining. 9th Edition. )
  3. The conveyor racks may only be entered or left when the cage is completely stationary. (Source: Julius Ritter von Hauer: The mining machines. )