The basin


A lift lock works pretty much like an elevator - there is a basin that the boats drive (navigate?) into, the doors close and then a set of counterweights is engaged to bring the basin up or down. (At the lift lock in Peterborough, there were two separate side-by-side basins, one lower and one upper, that served as natural counterweights).
 

A group of kayakers joined us on the way up. We were all eagerly awaiting the start of the ride!

What I find amazing is that the technology has not really changed since the 1930s when this lock originally went into service. A few improvements have been made, but it's basically the same structure and the same core idea. A new lock is being built alongside this one as this waterway gets quite busy and needs to accommodate large ships, but the historic lift lock will remain in service for at least another fifteen years.

22 comments:

  1. Funny to see that massive lock being used to lift kayaks. :-)

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  2. the kayaks look funny in that lock!

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  3. I love seeing the kayaks in there with you!

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  4. Quite a contrast between your boat and the kayaks in the lock.

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  5. I have gone through locks many times on river and canal cruises, and you are right, they seem like almost medieval technology. Still, fun to experience.

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  6. wow looks great ! very interesting.. saluti

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  7. Some of the old ideas and inventions are ones to stand the test of time and reliability!
    Love these pics - fascinating Hal. :)

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  8. I've vever actually gone through a liftlock, just watched one from the outside. Very nice, Hal!

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  9. Yes I agree with Rose, it'll be interesting Hal, to see if the new lock will have any changes.. the temptation will be too strong for the engineers not to try and improve in some way :)

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  10. This is very interesting, I would like to see how it works!

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  11. You made me think of Tower Bridge in London, built in the late 19th century and will operating with same way it was built.

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  12. We have many locks here. I think the kayakers are brave to go in there..

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  13. Why change something relatively simple that gets the job done efficiently?!

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  14. Amazing how it works and like Sharon, it made me think of the Victorian engineering of the Tower Bridge. How fun to be in a kayak while going through the lock!

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  15. So funny seeing the little boats using the lock!

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  16. This looks similar to the Anderton lift in Cheshire which was out of action for many years before being restored. Not quite as wonderful as the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland which is modern marvel.

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  17. There are boat locks in Seattle that are fun to watch. I've never been through them but would like to sometime.

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