WARSAW: The world will know within "three or four days" whether a Nazi gold train lies buried in a secret railway siding in south-west Poland, a team of treasure hunters has claimed.
Excavations began on a railway embankment yesterday (Tuesday) close to the southern city of Walbrzych, despite independent research concluding that the team will not find the fabled train.
According to a local legend, the train and its cargo of bullion disappeared into the mountains around Walbrzych as the Nazis fled the advancing Red Army in 1945. Its whereabouts remained a source of speculation until last year, when Piotr Koper and Andreas Richter, two treasure hunters, claimed that they had located the spot where it lay buried.
Andrzej Gaik, spokesman for the hunters, said: "It's not a needle in a haystack. If it's there, we will find it."
He added that preliminary work carried out over the weekend using ground-penetrating radar appeared to show they were on the right track.
In December, a study of the site carried out by experts from Krakow's University of Science and Technology found no trace of the train.
Historians have also pointed out that the only evidence supporting the claims comes from the testimony of now-deceased witnesses who said they saw German troops parking a train in a secret siding in the dying days of the war.