March 21 2017
Lots of canals are equipped with locks to pass declivities. Another impressive technique is the boat lift.
The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift in Scotland; it connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal.
This boat lift is quite remarkable and relatively new: Queen Elizabeth II opened the Falkirk Wheel on 24 May 2002, as part of her Golden Jubilee celebrations.
The project was meant to regenerate central Scotland's canals and reconnect Glasgow to Edinburgh, with support and funding from the Scottish Enterprise Network, the European Regional Development Fund, and the Millennium Commission.
It replaced a former flight of 11 locks and abandoned in 1933, each passage requiring 3500 tons of water!
The Falkirk Wheel raises boats by 24 metres (79 ft), but the Union Canal is still 11 metres (36 ft) higher than the aqueduct which meets the wheel, so the boats must also pass through a pair of locks between the top of the wheel and the Union Canal.
The Falkirk Wheel is the only rotating boat lift of its kind in the world, and still attracts many tourists today. It is with the Anderton boat lift (the oldest in the world, built in 1875) the only working boat lift in the United Kingdom.