Wednesday 19 March 2014

Gravel Extraction Today

Nystrup Gravel closed many years ago. The company finally closed in the late 1970´s (although no gravel had been extracted for several years by then) from a number of reasons. The company was generally well led, but the fundamentals of gravel business had changed by the late sixties. The management of Nystrup Gravel never took modern machinery into consideration and investments had gone down. The major stock owner, director Holm, wanted to retire and was interested in pulling out his money for retirement in sunny Spain.

Other companies continue to supply gravel in Denmark and several new areas has been opened for extraction, even though for environmental reasons permits are much harder to get. On the outskirts of greater Copenhagen a large gravel deposit has been exploited since the 1890´s. Originally the centre of the extraction was Hedehusene, but today the areas exploited have moved west and south. This week I took a bike ride through the area to see what modern gravel extraction looks like. Here are a few images of what I saw.

I would like to see this Volvo excavator with its arm fully extended! 

A view into the active part of the gravel area. Roskilde is in the horizon.

Lorry with a load of gravel coming through the tunnel once used for a conveyor belt. 

Partly dismantled conveyor belt. Its role now taken over by lorries.
Another loaded lorry leaves for a construction site. Old gravel pits as far as you can see.

Traces of gravel workings not used for almost fifty years: Old and overgrown open topped gravel silos. 

785 mm. tracks ran under the silo through this tunnel. Sleepers with spikes can still be found inside the tunnel.

Inside the tunnel you can still see levers and the chutes used for loading skips.

Often seen in model on layouts and dioramas - the old, left behind oil drum. Seldom seen dumped in real life as they of course costs money and are thus usually not thrown away. Here is one, though. Notice the splash of colour provided by the blue cooler in the background. Spoil from an other age.

Not a part of the lifted Nystrup Gravel line, but the foundation for the expansion of a very living railway in the old gravel workings south of Hedehusene. In a few years Hedelands Veteranbane will be running steam trains here - the only place in Denmark where you'll have a view to vineyards from a train.

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