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Old Sep 8, 2007, 10:51 PM   #1
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OnThu Aug 30th, 2007...

Alan T wrote:
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Walter C wrote:
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...with an upstairs view.
Last night my brother showed me his holiday photos from N.France. Among them was a giant canal barge, capable of holding 78 standard shipping containers (replacing 78 trucks, it said in French on the side), going through a huge canal lock. Brother was horrified to see it approach abridge under which it would obviously not fit. As it neared this overbridge, the 'bridge'/wheelhouse, looking exactly like the top deck of this 'caboose' ("guard's van" or "brake van"in English English), lowered itself hydraulically into the hull of the barge, to re-emerge once past the obstruction.

I'll try to get him to send me the photo.
I visited him this week in the Deep South (of Wiltshire, England), so here is the aforesaid vessel approaching a lock. Sadly we don't have a picture of the vessel with the wheelhouse in the lowered position. I told brother to go back and take the shot again.

The 'tug' (what's the technical term for a pusher vessel?) pushing it has to pass underneath the concrete lintel over the lock entrance, so it has to reduce its height by lowering itswheelhouse into the hull, raising it again once underneath the obstruction Presumably lookout tells the helmsman when to stop...
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Old Sep 8, 2007, 10:57 PM   #2
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...and here it is, about to leave the lock at the higher level. I note that it's carrying far from a full load of 78 containers. The nearest one hasa corrugated roof, exhibiting entertaining Moire patterns on resizing (again).

I have an image showing the wheelhouse more fully, but these two are artistically better.
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Old Sep 9, 2007, 6:37 AM   #3
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Alan,

Nice documentatin of what has to be one of the mroe unusual ways of traversing canals and locks.

Thanks for sharing such interesting stories.

Aloha
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Old Sep 9, 2007, 8:54 AM   #4
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Thanks for the information, Alan. I have found that even though most boats push their loads, they are called towboats in the US. The boats used to help ships maneuver in port are called tugboats even though most of the time, they are pushing rather than tugging. Go figure.

Nice shots of the barge and locks.

Cal

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Old Sep 9, 2007, 10:50 AM   #5
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Great photos and information.
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