A forgotten tunnel was rediscovered during the renovation of the station

A forgotten tunnel was rediscovered during the renovation of the station
The forgotten passage can still be clearly seen on a postcard from 1914. In the foreground you can also see the still young trees along the former route of the Steyrtalbahn, from where the path to the tunnel branches off.
Image: Mayer

Workers recently made an unexpected and special find in the course of redesigning the Garstner train station: while laying the foundations of a pillar, an excavator came across a long-forgotten, stone-walled tunnel that dates back to the construction of the Kronprinz-Rudolf-Bahn from Steyr to Küpfern around 1860.

“My mother-in-law Josefine Mayrhofer, daughter of the former owner of the general store Josef Mayr, used to walk this path regularly as a child, so I know about it,” says Karl Mayer, former director of the Werndlpark Steyr high school. When the line into the Enns Valley was built, the new tracks suddenly cut off part of the town from the town centre, reports Mayr: “This meant that the church, inn and all the craftsmen who lived in the town center, such as Schmid or Wagner, could only be reached with considerable detours.”

As a remedy, this excavated sidewalk tunnel was laid through the new railway embankment. It led from the open fields and meadows in the direction of Garstnerhöhe to the town centre. The tunnel was near the old fire department depot behind the “Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Jubilee School” opened in 1908 and ended in the schoolyard of the elementary school. In 1889 the first section of the Steyr Valley Railway was built from Garsten to Grünburg, later to Klaus. This additional railway embankment meant a further isolation of the open meadow from the center of Garstner. As a result, the tunnel retained its importance as a pedestrian passage alongside the existing larger railway underpasses in today’s St.-Berthold-Allee and in Klosterstrasse near the former dairy. Trees were also planted along the path on the Steyrtalbahn embankment, making this pedestrian connection even more attractive.

When the railway area was greatly expanded in the 1930s and the space between the branching railway bodies was filled up, the tunnel disappeared underground and was soon forgotten. “Today the warehouse and the federal railways are in this area,” says Mayr, who, himself born in 1935, didn’t grow up here but in the Steyrer Neuschönau.

The remains of this former tunnel will soon be gone forever. The very narrow passage will disappear again under the new tracks in the course of the station renovation.

Source: Nachrichten

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