December 02, 2006

The Falkirk Wheel

I took a day trip out of Edinburgh and visited the Falkirk Wheel. It's been the butt of jokes on a Scottish comedy sketch show, but I have to say I was hugely impressed by it. It was designed as a Millennium project to revive the old canals in central Scotland and it links the Forth-Clyde and the Union Canal. Previously there were 11 locks to navigate to get up and down between the two canals, but this lift has replaced 8 of them and saves about 8 hours! It picks up a boat at the bottom and rotates and places it at the top. The weight of the two gondolas is 18 tonnes, I think I was told, but it takes no more energy in one rotation than it does to power 6 electric toasters to make toast! Another great example of Scottish engineering and the only one of its kind anywhere in the world.

1 comment:

Gerald England said...

I was there last year. It's brilliant. I've got eight photos starting at http://www.geraldengland.co.uk/scot/scot065.htm