Next Episode of Abandoned Engineering is
Season 3 / Episode 5 and airs on 23 April 2019 19:00
As the saying goes – they probably seemed like good ideas at the time. The world is peppered with examples of incredible engineering projects and buildings designed to make life easier for those that used them, amaze those that came to see them, and make money for those that ordered, designed and built them. They were the stuff of dreams. Often enormous engineering problems had to be resolved, obstacles overcome and new innovations employed just to get them built in the first place. Alas, a great number of these remarkable structures have now been abandoned, cast aside like enormous expensive out-of-date toys, never to be used in the ways for which they were intended. Each and every one of these extraordinary places is home to a wealth of powerful and compelling stories. We'll see and hear about some of the most spectacular examples of abandoned engineering the world has eve...
A dark past explains why the Pölitz Synthetic Fuel Plant in Northern Poland is now a derelict industrial site littered with tunnels, bunkers and huge crumbling concrete structures lost in dense forest. The site was built in 1937 as part of Nazi Germany's drive to become self-sufficient on fuel, but it was no ordinary refinery. It used the latest technology at the time, at great expense, to turn coal into oil. In 1945 an Allied air raid pulverised the plant, severely wounding the German war machine and leaving the site in ruins.
Other structures examined in the first episode include the incredible vertical Phoenix Shot Tower in Baltimore, which was built to provide America's own ammunition, the former American spy instillation called Teufelsberg (or "Devil's Mountain") in Berlin which waged the Cold War against the Soviet Union, and the now derelict Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse which was built on Europe's second-fastest moving sand dune in Denmark.
A strange group of rusting structures off the coast of England, a dilapidated mediaeval-style castle in the heart of urban America and one of the biggest machines ever built lying forgotten in a German field. Once these extraordinary places and objects were at the cutting edge of design and construction, but now they stand disused, sometimes contaminated and sometimes dangerous. But who was it that built these mysterious structures? What incredible stories surround them? What secrets do they hold? And why were they abandoned?
Seven huge steel boxes rise 80-feet out of the water off the coast of England at the mouth of the River Thames. Now rusting and derelict, The Red Sands Sea Fort was originally built as a first line of defence to deter the Nazi threat to London. Successfully helping the Allies to victory in 1945, the project is one of the most extraordinary engineering successes of World War II.
Also in this episode, a sinister-looking deserted Cold War concrete pyramid in North Dakota; a vast empty complex located in the heart of a Philadelphia; and a 4,000-tonne corroding mass of steel, left to rot in a field in Eastern Germany.
Hear the fateful story of the disused Vajont Dam in Italy, the site of a tragic disaster in 1963 which resulted in the deaths of around 2,000 people.
Learn about the strange-looking, derelict military facilities in Farnborough, which were once wind tunnels that played a vital role in WWII.
The Canfranc Railway Station is an elaborate abandoned Nazi railway station built near a town of only 500 people in the Pyrenees in Spain. But why was it built there and what secrets does it hold?
Also examined in this episode is the Salton Sea Navy Base in California - a military post in the middle of the desert in the American west, the Kola Superdeep borehole - a wrecked record-holding Arctic facility in Russia that goes deep, deep underground, and a huge tower looming over an industrial area in Belgium. All of these extraordinary places and objects were at the cutting edge of design and construction, but now they stand disused, sometimes contaminated and sometimes dangerous.
This week, find out why Fordlandia Rubber Town, a symbol of the American dream first established by Henry Ford in the 1920s, is now left rotting in the Amazonian rainforest. Also, what secrets do the enormous monoliths scattered across a secret forest complex in Eastern Poland hold? And what secrets does a fortified corridor of death with a Cold war past stretching for miles across Hötensleben, Germany hold? And a bizarre structure in South Western France built to speed trade was once at the forefront of design, now lies disused and abandoned, but why?
The Georg Thiele was a technological masterpiece, but it is a shipwreck, lost to the sea in a Norwegian Fjord after running aground during a naval battle in WWII.
Also in this episode, a mysterious concrete giant which echoes the Communist era atop a mountain peak in Bulgaria, a fantastical structure built in the middle of an American river, and one of the world's first and finest Artic feats of engineering, The Miles Glacier Bridge in Alaska, which, when it was first built in the early 1900s, was known as the Million Dollar Bridge.
A lost highway in the Brazilian jungle, a forgotten bunker system in the French Alps and a man-made island in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty. Who built them, and why?
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