We are committed that after the end of lignite mining at the Rhenish lignite mining area, the most important parts of the technical infrastucture, in particular a bucket-wheel excravator used as a memorial in order to be preserved as a public testimony.

Why should a part of the lignite mining technology be retained?

Here are some good reasons. The full programm can be downloaded here soon.

Schaufelradbagger e.V.

1. Relevant part of the industrial history

The bucket-wheel excravator 288 and his five duplicates are the world’s biggest land-based machines ever constructed. Like no other machine, they are symbolic for the open pit lignite mining with all its advantages and disavantages. The technical infrastructure is the deciding element of its impact on the landscape, for instance the excravators and stackers move millions of bulk material, uncover fossil fuel for the incernation, lead to resettlement of whole villages, but also have an imense merit when it is about today’s industrialisation and wealth. According to current planning, lingnite mining will continues until at least 2029, at latest 2038. It is expected that the end of mining will lead to an enormous strucutral change in the affacted surrounding regions due to the loss of employment and sources of income. Depending on the point of view, the machines can be a symbol as monument or memorial. Independently all this is part of our historical heritage and therefore worth preserving.

2. Unique landmark & touristic attraction

A bucket-wheel excravator could be a technical monument with tremednous attraction. Due to its record as biggest land-based construct, there is an enormous potential as touristic attraction. Similar project have been established in East Germany, for example Förderbrücke F60 or Ferropolis and are used in particular as museum, venue and festival area. At the local open pit mines, there are comparable development possibilites. Amongst others, the near and good strucutral connection to metropolian areas such as Cologne, Aachen, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr area and a professional cultural scene are crucial advantages.

3. Integration in venue, festival and touristical concepts

Everyone, who has been there, knows that the landscape of the open pit mining is impressive and unique. Organizers and artists from all over the world have already recognized this. For example, the splash! festival takes place in Ferropolis every year with tens of thousands of visitors. Famous national and international bands (including Metallica, Linkin Park, Deep Purple) have also performed there due to the unique backdrop as part of various tours or the festival and are a crowd puller with European reach. It is possible to imagine similar events in this or larger dimensions in our region. The bucket-wheel excravators in the Rheinische Revier have already gained international attention, e.g. when they were used in internationally successful films and series such as The Hunger Games or Westworld. With the development of an excavator and other machines, such as an offshoot, these could serve as a film set in the future and thus achieve an even greater range.

You are convinced? We need your signature.

Please sign and share our petition for the preservation of a bucket-wheel excravator due to its meaning as relevant part of the European industrial history. This can only be achieved with a broad public support.