More waterway engineering!

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RailRon, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Rivers crossing rivers, wheels lifting ships... Interurbans post brought back memories of a trip to France two years ago.

    In France there are lots of waterways and canals which are both used by freight ships and tourist boats. Near St. Louis-Arzviller there are a few engineering tidbits along the Rhine-Marne canal system.

    Most spectacular ist the Arzviller ship-elevator, which lifts or descends ships: A concrete trough which carries up to two fairly big ships is transported sideways by a cableway up and down a steep (41%) slope. Height difference is 45 meters (about 135 ft). The whole thing replaces 17 locks!
    The 'ship cable car' is balanced by heavy counterweights in the form of steel/concrete slugs on rails. It doesn't even need a motor. When the trough is at the top, it is filled with a little more water, so it is heavier than the counterweights. At the bottom it spills so much water, that the counterweights are heavier and pull the trough up again! Ingenious! :thumb:


    Pics 1+2 - general overview / 3 - the trough with ships going down / 4 - The carriage below the water trough

    Attached Files:

  2. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Through the mountains by ship!

    Along the same canal you find another curiosity: Waterway tunnels!

    The most spectacular is the Arzviller tunnel with a railroad tunnel running parallel to the canal tunnel. Amazing!
    Along the canal you still see the rails of small towing locos (or horses) which used to pull the barges until 50plus years ago...


    In pic 2 you see literally the light at the end of the tunnel :D :D :D
    Pics 3+4: The Arzviller double railroad-canal-tunnel

    Attached Files:

  3. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Very cool! A nifty detail for a layout. One more way to incorporate boats on a layout.

    TrainClown ;)
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    That last shot looks similar to the way Ottawa (Ontario, Canada) used to look downtown, when trains ran alongside the Rideau Canal to the Grand Trunk Station. The track and canal would then pass through a "tunnel" under Wellington Street, and pass the Chateau Laurier. From there the canal stepped down through several locks to the Ottawa River, while the trains hugged the cliff and then passed over the Interprovincial Bridge into Quebec.

    I'll try to find a photo.

  5. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    That is amazing Ron.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.

    These waterways are realy something!!

    Love that electric Loco
  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    That absolutely blows one's mind. Fantastic bit of engineering. Sure beats lock, gates and pumps.

    Thanks for sharing these with us Ron.
  7. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    Ron another fine set of pics.:)
  8. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member


    Speaking of Europe & trains, a couple of nights ago they showed a special on NatGeo channel of a new train station in Berlin. It is ALL glass, with more square footage than the Empire State building!! Trains coming & going all day long...It links all the capitals in the East with the major cities in the West....Now that's a passenger train system!!!


    Gus (LC&P).
  9. zedob

    zedob Member

    Great pics. The elevator is just too cool.
  10. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Yes I agree, they leave us well behind coughing dust, when it comes to train travel.
  11. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Let's gallon of water weighs about 9 pounds...WOW!! :eek: They need to put this one on that Modern Marvels show on the History Channel!

    That is amazing Ron! Thanks for posting that! :thumb:

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