the tunnel of deceit (santander-mediterraneo): the barracks at yera
gallery and text below:
The Tunnel of Deceit (Santander-Mediterráneo)
In 1941 work was started, with the forced labor of both common and political inmates (republican prisoners of the Spanish Civil War), to dig a tunnel through the Cantabrian mountains of northern Spain and thus complete a long envisioned project that would unite by rail the north Atlantic coast of the country with the Mediterranean. It promised economic revival and national unification to many regions.
The seven kilometer tunnel represented the longest ever built in the country. It was an ambitious engineering enterprise originally estimated to take three years to carry out –it would take seventeen. It was called “The Tunnel of La Engaña”, after the name of the river that flowed by its southern mouth. The name "La Engaña", or “Deceit”, would hold a prophetic curse.
Over the arduous years of construction, as well as long after, men succumbed to accidents from falling rock, and to silicosis from the dust of the blasted silica. Most of the infrastructure was completed and many sections south of the tunnel were operational. On either side of the tunnel the stations were erected. But the rails for the tunnel and for the last northern leg to the ocean were never laid. The tunnel had been built, but the train didn’t come. The stations were not to be.
These are images of the now ruinous barracks that housed the workers and of a station that never
all images copyright © enrique manchon 2013