So everybody knows the Indiana Jones mine cart chase scene where Indiana Jones is on this crazy mining cart inside this crazy mine that leads out to a straight drop cliff. I've always wondered to myself "is there any historical evidence of such mines?" Like gravity powered mining tracks, crazy mining tracks inside the mine with openess to put buildings and such? Or maybe gravity tracks outside the mine? I hope i'm making sense; anything remotely similiar to the movies we see. Or maybe just mining tracks that cling to the side of a cliff outside the adit? Photos of anything similiar, links or just general info would be great! Is it possible if these things have ever existed or something remotely similiar. Thanks!
Last edited on Fri Jan 21st, 2011 08:42 am by CascadeMan
Yes and no: 99% of mines are simply an adit (horizontal) or shaft, but occasionally when a mine encounters a large ore body, the miners basically remove everything except a few pillars to support the roof. Often, they remove too much and the roof collapses leaving a glory hole. Here is a glory hole that the roof collapsed: You can see the tramway track on the left (under the sheet metal) with a few pieces of rail dangling over a 200' dropoff (I couldnt capture the whole hole). The tram went from far left, through the two little adits into the main haulage level. You can also see how the miners were attempting to follow the vein:
Last edited on Sun Feb 6th, 2011 05:42 pm by elminero67
Cascademan-I didnt answer the other part of your question: Mining trams almost always had a slight grade (.5% was common) favoring the loaded ore cars. This was just enough grade to help the trammer push the ore car, but not enough to permit it to run away like they did in Ol' Indiana Jones. This also allowed the mine to drain water rather than a grade into the mine which would quickly flood it.
Its the Little Daisy Mine in Mogollon, NM. Its on private property. If I get the chance Ill post a few more "crazy" mining pics. btw, there is a mine near the bottom of the Grand Canyon that still has the ore cars and track (probably because noone wants to carry them out!) The ore car is at the entrance, when we were young we use to push the car to the back of the mine then do the joy ride back to the entrance-good times, although I suspect by now the National Park Service has blocked it off.