Page 41 - visit-andalucia_jan19_flipbook
P. 41

Fascinating History

             The Mining Town of Rio Tinto

        photographs of characters who      unique in Spain. The other is a    die slowly from an accumulation of
        moulded a landscape.               general-purpose K type locomotive   poisonous metals or arsenic in your
        The hospital has been converted    manufactured by the North British   system, you could fall down a shaft,
        into a mining museum where you     Locomotive Company Ltd. in 1907.   or you could die of exhaustion.
        can follow the history of the area   Departing from the station and   Imagine being born down there,
        from the copper age right through   taking you to Nerva, is a locomotive   being raised by your mother until
        to the modern day. There is even a   that uses the original track laid by   you were five or six years old then
        simulated, and realistic, Roman mine   the Rio Tinto Company. You travel   working until you dropped, dying at
        adit through which you stumble,    for 23 kilometres in vintage       an average age of 20 years and
        being careful not to get too wet. For   carriages through the original   being left to rot in a side gallery, all
        those interested in mineralogy there   stations with stunning views over   without seeing a glimmer of daylight.
        is also a good collection of crystals   the Rio Tinto itself. You will soon   Thousands of slaves experienced
        and ores native to the region.     see why the river is so named.     just that.
                                                                              Following the tour, there is an
        In one section you will find a     After the train journey, you can join   optional walk that covers about 6
        reproduction of the Rio Tinto station   an organised trip to the Peña del   kilometres of track. The tour takes
        with two of the steam locomotives   Hierro mine that leaves from the   you around the open cast part of the
        used on the railway and the famous   museum. The Romans were the first   mine and round the headwaters of
        ‘Maharajah’s Carriage’. The carriage   people to exploit the mine. The tour   the Rio Tinto. Nothing but algae and
        was built in Birmingham for Queen   includes a walk into one of the   some bacteria can survive in the
        Victoria’s trip to India and it was   adits. You will appreciate the   waters that emerge from the hill
        then taken to Rio Tinto for a Royal   hazards involved in extracting the   already saturated with poisonous
        Visit by King Alfonso XIII. The    ore. There were a number of ways   heavy metals, cadmium, copper and
        N-Type crane locomotive was        of dying. You may be crushed or    nickel.
        manufactured by the Hawthorn       asphyxiated in a cave-in, you could                 continued >>
        Leslie Company in 1930 and is      drown in a flash flood, you could

                                        January 2019                           41
   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46