Nazi ‘Gold Train’ Town Walbrzych Enjoys Tourism Gold Rush – CNBC

“Loch Ness is famous for a monster never found. This is like our Loch Ness monster,” local historian Mateusz Mykytyszyn, 36, told NBC News. “We have been hoping to become a tourist town since the mines closed in the 1990s and it happened over one month because of the train story.”

He added: “I’ve spoken with restaurant owners, taxi drivers, tour operators and they have l seen a huge rise in interest. Definitely it is a different town.”

Soldiers and explosives experts began a six-day operation Monday to check for mines at the site where the treasure-hunters say the train is located.

They were searching up to three feet below the surface for booby traps or unexploded ordnance that could endanger municipal workers who are due to begin excavations in search of the train.

Souvenir sellers have already moved to cash in on the city’s sudden fame, producing fake gold bars and T-shirts or mugs featuring a picture of a golden train.

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Among the tourists drawn to the area Tuesday by the possible treasure were British visitor Paul Winslet, 50, and his Polish partner, Emilia. They came to see the city’s Książ Castle, which has its own underground tunnels that were made during the Nazi occupation.

“I’ve seen images of the castle for years and then we saw all the news about the gold train in the British press,” he said. “Emilia said it’s not far from her home town so we decided to come have a look.”

Emilia, 30, said of the train: “All legends eventually come to something. I believe everything will one day be found. The gold train, Atlantis, all things.”

Henryk Chojnacki, a tour guide at the nearby Riese complex of Nazi-era tunnels, said the attraction was selling more tickets since news of the possible discovery was first reported in August.