Friday, October 7, 2022

1833-1920 Trent-Severn Waterway in Ontario, CA

"Trent Severn connects Trenton on Lake Ontario to Port Severn on Georgian Bay. A distance of 387 km (240 miles) and a rise of 180 meters (590 feet) above Lake Ontario and 80 meters (260 feet) above Georgian Bay at the Trent systems highest point, Balsam Lake. The lifting and dropping process incorporate 41 locks, a marine railway and two hydraulic lift locks including the worlds highest, 65 foot lift (20 meters), located at Peterborough Ontario. The system was started in 1833 and completed in 1920." It is currently owned by Parks Canada. [TheTrentSevernWaterway]

Parks Canada

The "41 locks, a marine railway and two hydraulic lift locks including the world's highest, 65 foot lift (20 meters), located at Peterborough Ontario," provide a navigation depth of 6'. The summit is at Balsam Lake, which is 180m (600') above Lake Ontario and 80m (250') above Lake Huron's Georgian Bay. "Standard lock dimensions are one hundred and twenty feet long by thirty-two feet wide. The two exceptions are the lock 44, the Big Chute Marine Railway at one hundred feet long by twenty-four feet wide and lock 45 at Port Severn is only eight-four feet long and twenty-three feet wide setting the limit if you wish to traverse The Trent Severn Waterway from one end to the other."

#11-#12 - Ranney Falls, 46.9m (154') x 9.7m (32') x 14.6m (48') (Satellite)
One of the two double locks
#16-#17 - Healey Falls Flight Lock, 46.9m (154') x 9.7m (54') x 8.2m (54') (Satellite)
One of the two double locks
Additonal photos of these locks are available in my notes on the adjacent hydro plant.

#21 - Peterborogh Lift Lock, 36.6m (120') x 9.7m (32') x 19.8m (65') (Satellite)
Opened on July 9, 1904, it is the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world, 65' (20m).

#36 - Kirkfield Lift Lock,  42.2m (138') x 10.2m (33') x 14.9m (49') (Satellite)
"The Kirkfield Lift Lock is the second highest hydraulic lift lock in the world with a lift of 15 metres (49 ft). The lock is situated at the highest point along the Waterway at 256.20 meters (840.5 ft) above sea level."

#44 - Big Chute Marine Railway, just 30.5m (100') x 7.3m (24') x 17.7m (58') (Satellite)
"It is the only marine railway of its kind in North America."
"Operators whose vessels weigh more than 68t (75 tons), have a peculiar hull configuration or who foresee problems lifting the hull by sling, must contact Trent–Severn Waterway at 705-756-8802 at least 48 hours in advance of trip."

#45 - Port Severn, just 25.6m (84') x 7.0m (23') x 3.7m (12') (Satellite)

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site, Parks Canada posted
Work to remove bedrock from below the dam at Lock 45 - Port Severn is nearly complete. ✔.
This work will improve the efficiency of the dam and prevent localized flooding.

TalesFromTheAmericanWaterways-1, Locks #11 and #12, one of many photos in this travelog
"Unlike the Erie Canal, the locks are all manually operated, but not, as in England, by the boaters themselves.  Each lock is staffed by two or three people, many of them students doing a summer vacation job, but all friendly and helpful."
[Most of the locks have a 2 day mooring limit. I noticed that this one allows 5 days. Tourists from the canal must be an important part of Cambellford's economy. A suspension bridge paid by public subscription spans the adjacent Ranney Falls. The town also as a Bloomer Chocolate next to a World's Finest Chocolate surplus store. That reminds me of the fudge shops in the tourist towns of Mackinac Island and Metamora, IN.]

TalesFromTheAmericanWaterways-2, one of four photos of the Peterborough Lift Lock
"Two adjacent holding tanks simultaneously move in opposite directions, to take boats up and down the lock.  No electric power is used and the lock works simply by the weight of water in the upper tank being greater than that of the lower one. The lift is 65 ft – at the time it was built, in 1904, it was the largest structure in the world to be built from unreinforced concrete. It is very quick too – the ascent took only a couple of minutes."

From inside the Kirkfield Lift Lock

TalesFromTheAmericanWaterways-4, they have photos of the outside that they took the day before.
"Big Chute is the most awesome thing on the waterway, and eagerly anticipated. It is not technically a lock, but a railway which transports boats up and down the rapids of the Severn River. It was originally constructed as a temporary measure, pending a proper lock being built. Construction of the definitive lock was  abandoned because of cost. Another reason for not progressing the project was that a lock would allow lamprey to move upstream and jeopardise the fisheries of Lake Simcoe. Despite the steepness of the descent, the boats are maintained in a horizontal position by a cunning two-rail system which means that the front of the boat is supported and moves down independently of the back."

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