Changes in High Performance
The diesel trolley is the ultimate means of transport below ground. Miners use it to transport people and goods throughout the branches of the mines. A diesel engine uses fluid to produce hydraulic drive and propels the cart, which hangs suspended from a rail on the ceiling along the galleries.
Although by the 1980s coal mining in the Ruhr area was reliant on state subsidies, a new high-tech branch of industry was emerging in Dortmund: nanotechnology. One of the companies to settle here was Elmos, which produces small semi-conductors for the automobile industry, where they are used for example in parking assistance. One of these semi-conductors can be found in the display case next to the diesel trolley.
Elmos is directly adjacent to the Dortmund Technology Centre and the Technical University of Dortmund. When the Ruhr area and its world of working was rocked first by the coal crisis in 1958, and then by the steel crisis in the mid-1970s, towns were forced to react to the job losses in these industries. With the Technology Centre, Dortmund specialized in the fields of nanotechnology, biomedicine and microstructure technology. The establishment of the Centre and its proximity to the university led to these institutions mutually benefitting from one another. Students educated here had an attractive location with career prospects nearby; in turn, companies could recruit from a pool of qualified personnel.