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CANALS

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INLAND NAVIGATION the main navigations. The first-class waterways in 1878 Bridgewater Canal, owing to its interference with other were 765 miles in length; in 1897, 2795 miles were first- traffic and the difficulty of keeping the wire rope in the class, including 401 miles of new canals. The saving in centre of the canal round sharp curves. Steam tugs were cost of carriage on first-class waterways is due to the fact then tried with complete success, although the depth of that a barge of 200 to 300 tons is worked at almost the water in the canal does not allow of larger screws than same expense of crews and haulage as one only able to 3 feet 4 inches in diameter. Twenty tugs are now employed, carry half that cargo. This has led to the great improve- each 61 feet long, 7 feet 6 inches beam, and 4 feet draft; each can tow four barges at the rate of nearly 3 miles ments in the waterways of the Continent. Belgium.—The total length of waterways in Belgium is an hour, the barges carrying cargoes of 40 to 50 tons each. 1242 miles, 341 being canalized rivers, 301 open rivers, The canal has the advantage of being without locks 457 miles of canals for barges of 200 tons and upwards, between Runcorn and Manchester, a distance of thirty and 143 miles of smaller canals. The State owns about miles. Electric Haulage.—Electric haulage has been success85 per cent, of the whole. All improvements are carried out to standard dimensions, the locks being 134 feet long fully used in France upon part of the Bourgogne Canal, and 17 feet wide, with a canal depth of 8 feet. Since the including a tunnel over 2 miles long. It is also emimprovement of the waterways the traffic on them has ployed on the Charleroi Canal in Belgium, which connects largely increased, notwithstanding the complete system of the coal district with Brussels. The canal is a narrow railways which are pro tanto relieved of the heavy and one, and barges towed by horse-power seldom reached a speed of 1^ miles an hour. The use of electric power has slow traffic. Germany.—Inland navigation has been fostered and given a speed of 6 to 7 miles an hour at the same cost improved by the State, and between the years 1880 and per mile. There are two generating stations, one 15 miles 1893 £17,875,350 was expended for the creation of new south of Brussels and the other at Roux, 6 miles north of or the improvement of existing waterways. In 1895 Charleroi. The electric current is taken from overhead their length was 6214 miles. It has been proposed to wires, and it also serves for lighting purposes and for construct a Midland canal to connect the Dortmund-Ems working machinery at manufactories on the route of the Canal with the Rhine on one hand and the Weser and canal, thus reducing the cost of towing by the profit made the Elbe on the other;1 this development is supported by by adapting the current to secondary uses. The working the industrial interests, but is opposed by the Agrarians, of the locks is also facilitated by the use of electricity. who fear that new waterways will promote the increased It is very probable that electric traction will be largely import of foreign grain. The result of improvements used in the future for haulage on canals; it would also be has been to make nearly all the waterways available useful for working wharf cranes or canal lifts. Lifts.—Where the levels of the ground for a canal are for steamers or steam-towing. On the Rhine the size of vessels has increased from 800 to 1300 tons and such as to require several locks near each other, lifts or upwards, while on the Elbe and the Weser it is possible inclines have been adopted instead of locks, to save time to carry nearly twice as much cargo as formerly. On in passing traffic, and also to economize water, which the Oder the barges to and through Berlin could only in dry seasons has on some canals to be pumped back carry 150 to 200 tons, while vessels of 500 to 600 tons again by steam-power from the lower to the upper level. now go direct from Breslau to Hamburg. The State The most improved type of lift is that at Anderton on the levies tolls on the canals and canalized rivers amounting Weaver Navigation; it was constructed to unite the I rent to about one-third of the cost of maintenance, but the tolls and Mersey Canal with the river, where the navigations have not prevented a large increase in the amount of are in close proximity but with a difference in level of 50 feet, the canal having no spare water for locks. The lift traffic. Steam Haulage.—On the Bridgewater Canal, which has is a double one working vertically, barges up to 100 tons a large traffic between Liverpool and Manchester, steam being transferred from the canal at the high level to the tugs have been introduced, with the result that the traffic river in ten to fifteen minutes; the change is made while is conducted with greater regularity and despatch, and the barge is floating in an iron trough full of water with with, as compared with horse traction, a saving of forty gates at each end. The descending trough has more per cent, in cost. Experiments were first tried by hauling weight, owing to 6 inches of water being removed from on a submerged wire rope which passed round a drum the lower trough by self-acting siphons; this gives power worked by steam-power on a tug; this system has suc- to the descending trough to raise the lower one, a ceeded on some wide navigations, but it failed on the hydraulic accumulator being used to overcome the loss of weight in the descending trough when it is immersed in 1 The canal is intended to run vi& Minden, Hanover, Gifhorn, and the river at the lower level. The troughs are supported Wolmirstedt, to Heinrichsberg on the Elbe, opposite one of the and worked by two cast-iron rams, 3 feet in diameter, extremities of the Plane Canal, which goes on to give connexion with placed under the centre of the trough, with cast-iron presses the Havel and the Spree, and through these rivers and their connecting connected with a 5-inch pipe, the weight of trough and canals with the Oder and the Vistula, so that by this means a con- water being 240 tons. The lift was completed in 1875, nected inland waterway, stretching east and west, will be made between the Rhine and the Vistula. The length of the Midland Canal and has continued to work well even in hard frosts. Similar lifts have since been erected on the Continent. section is estimated at 202 miles, its width at bottom at 59 feet and at the surface at 1081 feet, the depth at 8£ feet, the width of the The one at Eontinettes on the Neuffosse Canal in France sluice gates at 281 feet, and the length of the locks at 220 feet. The is capable of lifting vessels of 300 tons burden. Another highest point (185| feet) which the canal (as projected) would traverse lies only 221 feet above the terminus at Bevergem and 57| feet above the lift at La Louviere on the Canal du Centre in Belgium is Elbe terminus near Wolmirstedt. From the main canal it is proposed able to lift vessels of 400 tons, the total weight lifted to construct branch canals to the towns of Osnabriick, Hildesheim, being 1037 tons. Three other lifts of the same character Peine, Brunswick, and Magdeburg, making an additional (total) length are being constructed on this canal. of 69 miles. The estimated cost of the main canal amounts to The two largest lifts yet constructed are those on the £6,250,000, of the branch canals at £2,150,000, or altogether a total of £8,400,000. A canal 13 miles long, starting from the Weser near Trent Canal at Peterborough in Canada; the vertical Rinteln, will be chiefly relied upon to furnish the water supply of the traverse is 65 feet, and the tanks are 139 feet long by 3 new canal. Closely connected with this Midland Canal, and really a feet wide, with 8 feet depth over the sills. They are double, continuation of it, is the Rhine-Weser-Elbe Canal, the Dortmund- like those at Anderton already described, being worked in Ems Canal forming the intermediate link between the two.