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Old 06-26-2020, 07:18 AM   #1
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Locks, lifts, inclined planes & similar contraptions. What've you seen & experienced?

I thought it might be interesting to share pictures and experiences (both good & bad) related to locks, lifts and other such devices. I suspect this may be of interest to only a minority of those on this forum, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway.



I searched for existing threads and found only a short, somewhat related, one from 2013:

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...ock-11783.html


I'll start with a picture of a lock in the Dalsland canal in south-central Sweden. The canal was built in the 1860's. This "quaint" lock is not the exception on this canal but, rather, the norm. There are over 30 locks like this. It's difficult to see in this picture, but just on the other side of the lock gates is an aqueduct that crosses a deep river gorge. Despite appearances, these old locks function rather well. Fendering and related "protection techniques" are a near art-form on this canal! In case you're wondering -max beam is 4.05m.
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Old 06-26-2020, 07:26 AM   #2
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And here's a picture of the aqueduct on the other side of the lock gates...
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Old 06-26-2020, 08:15 AM   #3
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The Falkirk Wheel always comes immediately to mind.



https://youtu.be/x3EzijS6ivI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkirk_Wheel
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Old 06-26-2020, 08:18 AM   #4
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The Trent - Severn Waterway that crosses Ontario Canada and connects Lk Ontario and Georgian Bay on Lk Huron has several interesting & different "lifts"

Foremost is Big Chute marine RR... the only inclined plane in N America.
Cable driven flat bed "RR" car with hydraulic cylinders and slings that can handle boats up to 100 length.
Loading and transit, including crossing a road, is surprisingly quick as there is no tie off required. Lock masters & help are very familiar with underwater gear of MANY boats styles and makes.Click image for larger version

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Old 06-26-2020, 08:27 AM   #5
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Peterborough lift lock is the tallest of two lift locks on the TSW.
No turbulence as the whole lock chamber rises / lowers. You are lifted around 65 ft in 2 mins.
The higher chamber gets filled with about 6 inches more water than the lower. They are supported by a large hydraulic cylinder and connected to each other and gravity drives the lift cycle.
The second is Kirkfield Lift Lock, not quite as tall and is a steel structure vs concrete at Peterborough. At Kirkfield the cross road goes under the lock.Click image for larger version

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Old 06-26-2020, 07:49 PM   #6
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I visited the Peterborough Lift Lock a couple of weeks ago with one of my kids and his buddy. We locked up, spent the night at the top, and locked back down. They were impressed.

What always amazes me about that lock is that it was built at the end of the 19th century. Before cars or electricity, at least in that area.

It's not in great shape right now. It's all original except for modernized valves, and the lockmaster said the rams have to come out for rebuilding. In the meantime they have a jury rigged system that takes about 20 minutes for each lift.

I'm now on the Rideau Canal, which operates for the most part as it did 150+ years ago. It's good to see major work being done to maintain the original work. This lock had one wall rebuilt this spring.


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Old 06-27-2020, 09:46 AM   #7
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Fascinating photos of the TSW, Bacchus! I always wanted to experience that waterway when I was a kid, boating with my dad, but we never got to it. He kept his boat in Rochester, NY and while we did manage to do the Rideau/Ottawa/St. Lawrence/Richelieu/Champlain/Erie/Oswego "triangle", it was at a whiplash pace due to limited vacation time. I have since learned that canal travel can be very interesting, if one can take the necessary time to smell the roses along the way ;-)
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Old 06-27-2020, 10:22 AM   #8
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Here are some pictures of an enormous ship elevator we experienced on our trip to France in 2019. It's the Strépy-Thieu elevator, near Charleroi, Belgium. It was a very simple experience. Cruise in, tie up and walk about with your cameras while waiting for the the ~15 minute operation to complete.



There's some more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Str%C3...hieu_boat_lift
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Old 06-27-2020, 10:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
Fascinating photos of the TSW, Bacchus! I always wanted to experience that waterway when I was a kid, boating with my dad, but we never got to it. He kept his boat in Rochester, NY and while we did manage to do the Rideau/Ottawa/St. Lawrence/Richelieu/Champlain/Erie/Oswego "triangle", it was at a whiplash pace due to limited vacation time. I have since learned that canal travel can be very interesting, if one can take the necessary time to smell the roses along the way ;-)
You are absolutely correct in that the key to really enjoying it is to take your time. In many respects the TSW is similar to the Rideau. Older locks on TSW not as quaint as Rideau and they have converted many to auto vs hand crank operation but retained the park like setting around the locks. The middle of the TSW is a series of beautiful lakes connected by short sections of canal & locks and nice little towns.
Our first TSW trip was 20+ yrs ago and it was a rush. We had 4 weeks and decided to just go as far as we could and turn around at 2 weeks. We made Georgian Bay completing the TSW system and had to turn around to go back to work.
Always talked about going back after retiring and having the time. Finally said we need to do it or quit talking about it.
We got temp slip early / late season but basically spent 2+ mos cruising in 2019. You can't imagine how thankful we are we decided to do it in 2019 and didn't wait for 2020!
The trip of a lifetime for us and I'd recommend it to anyone. We met several TF members along the way.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:06 AM   #10
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How NOT to go through a lock ;-)

This is, apparently, a beginner behind us in a lock on the St. Quentin Canal in north-eastern France.



Napoleon opened this canal in 1810. While this fairly drab commercial canal has been modernized over the years, it has fallen into disrepair in recent decades. Today, it's used mostly by (very few) pleasure boaters. The cost of staffing was such that the canal management company invested in a remote control infrastructure so pleasure boaters could operate the locks themselves. This works well -- ahem -- when it works. If there's a problem, one needs to call a telephone number posted on the former lock-master's house and wait for a roving attendant to come sort things out. Thankfully, this usually happens within about 15-30 minutes.


A it more info on the canal can be found here: https://www.french-waterways.com/wat...th/st-quentin/
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:11 AM   #11
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Continuing on the St. Quentin canal...and related to the "contraptions" part of this thread title...we come to the 5.7 kilometer long Riqueval Tunnel. Built 1801-1810 on the orders of Napleon.



Since around 1900, barges and boats have been pulled through the tunnel in groups (of up to ~30 in a group) by an electric "chain tug". There is a large electric motor in the tug that turns a large wheel which pulls on a stationary chain running along the bottom of the entire tunnel. Transit took us about 90 minutes...and it can get VERY cold inside this mountain.


There's more info here. It can be interesting to click through the pictures, even if you can't read the French.
https://www.vnf.fr/vnf/points-d-inte...ial-de-france/
https://www.petit-patrimoine.com/fic...?id_pp=02065_1




Explanation of pictures below
1) Entrance of tunnel. Chain tug, which runs x2 per day has not arrived yet.
2) Inside the tunnel, attached to the house barge ahead of us, who is in turn attached to another barge, who is, in turn attached to the chain tug. A "short group" for the chain tug this time around!
3) Inside the tunnel, looking backward
4) A picture of the chain tug that pulled us through. You can see the chain.
5) Sign commemorating the tunnels 200th anniversary
6) A "sister" chain tug that has been turned into a museum on land.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:44 AM   #12
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Inclined Plane – Ronquières, Belgium

Inclined Plane – Ronquières, Belgium

Not too long before taking the Belgian ship elevator mentioned earlier in this thread we experienced the inclined plane at Ronquières.
It was completed in 1968, replacing 15 locks. It’s 1.4km long and the lift is about 68 meters. Each basin has its own counterweight, thus each one can be operated independently.
Total transit time is about 30-40 minutes Again, the procedure is simple. Cruise in, tie up and walk around with your cameras.



More information on the inclined plane can be found here:
https://www.discoveringbelgium.com/t...of-ronquieres/
(Above You Tube Video – not mine)


Explanation of pictures below:

1) Approaching the entrance

2) Inside the basin looking forward. The large red object to the right is the other basin (closed for renovation at the time)

3) Inside the basin looking aft. The other basin (red) can be seen on the left

4) Another shot inside the basin looking aft.

5) In motion, looking forward

6) At the top, looking back to the top entrance

7) Photo of a basin in motion (borrowed from the internet)

8) Photo of a basin in motion (borrowed from the internet?
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:37 AM   #13
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Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses

Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses, France.

This group of 7 locks on the Briare canal was opened for navigation in 1642. The locks were modernized in 1822 and finally replaced with entirely new (and much larger) locks in a slightly different location in 1887. The town, originally called Rogny, takes its name today from this designated national monument.

A bit more information can be found here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogny-...t-%C3%89cluses
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Old 07-01-2020, 08:16 PM   #14
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One of the 8 locks on the Columbia River and Snake River. About 100 foot lift.Click image for larger version

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Old 07-01-2020, 09:30 PM   #15
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Carillon lock is 65' all in one drop. But it has a floating dock so it's easier than most.
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:45 AM   #16
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One of the 8 locks on the Columbia River and Snake River. About 100 foot lift.Attachment 104512

Wow! That is one MASSIVE structure!!
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:56 AM   #17
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Carillon lock is 65' all in one drop. But it has a floating dock so it's easier than most.

I had to Google Carillon Canal to see where it was. I was shocked to discover I must've been through that lock ~40+ years ago while traveling from Ottawa to Montreal on the Ottawa river (not on my own boat...didn't have one then). Memory dims a bit, with time, I guess :-(


The floating docks in the large locks are very nice and certainly make a simple job of it.
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Old 07-02-2020, 03:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I had to Google Carillon Canal to see where it was. I was shocked to discover I must've been through that lock ~40+ years ago while traveling from Ottawa to Montreal on the Ottawa river (not on my own boat...didn't have one then). Memory dims a bit, with time, I guess :-(


The floating docks in the large locks are very nice and certainly make a simple job of it.

Checked my old 35mm photos. I can't believe I found this! This would have been circa 1976...
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Old 07-03-2020, 05:52 AM   #19
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Canal de Briare - Aqueduct

We traversed this aqueduct in 2019 on our way through France to the Mediterranean. It is on Canal de Briare, where it crosses the Loire river. Construction on this canal started in 1604. The aqueduct was opened in 1894, with parts of it having been built by the company of Gustave Eiffel (as in Eiffel tower).

More info can be found here:
https://www.french-waterways.com/wat.../canal-briare/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briare_Canal
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briare_aqueduct

The last two pictures below are photos of photos in the aqueduct museum. The French, themselves, blew up part of the aqueduct during WWII in order to prevent use.
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:54 AM   #20
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Wow that is beautiful. So Europe has a network of canals so you can travel from northern Europe to the Med? I would imagine there are height and width restrictions?
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