The Erzberg has provided the Habsburg empire and later Austria with iron ore for a 1000 years. They keep on digging. In 1890 they built a cog railway to bring the ore across the pass directly to the smelters in Leoben. It worked until 1978, mainly with the original engines. The old railway shed is still there, and the area is full of abandoned mines, foundries and towns so desolate that it took me a drive of 50 km to find a place to stay.