Wonders of vertical transport

Inclined lift Foxton Incline

Sadly, the inclined lift Foxton Incline is no longer valid, but there is hope that one day the new system is in place this magnificent example of engineering. Design is located in Leicestershire, UK, at the time it was called differently: The Thomas Lift (Lift Thomas), a lift for barges Foxton, reclining Foxton, The Lift Lock (Gateway to the lift) and New Locks (New Gateway).

I Lavna engineer Grand Junction Canal Co. Gordon Cale Thomas led the project, which was to provide a faster method of lifting and lowering river ships passing through the sluice channel in Foxton. At that time, the vessel required 45 minutes to 10 gateways climb the hill height of 75 feet. This resulted in significant delays, the more so at a time could pass through the gateway only one vessel. Channels built in 1810, and gateways are used to transport goods, and not as now — for fun and enjoyment. Another drawback of locks — a huge amount of water that is wasted when they opened the gate.

There Railways taking over the transport of goods in the UK, and operate the canal company had to take action to keep your business. Thomas addressed the issue of wider locks, but this idea was rejected. Then he decided to build a ski lift for ships. This patented design Thomas lift was built in 1899-1900 years. It was a two tank or caisson, interconnected steel rope. Their drives a steam winch, located at the top of the hill. Each caisson weighed 230 tons when it was filled with water, and could accommodate two narrow vessel or a barge. Caissons the size of 85 feet by 15 feet up the two rails running on the sides.

Construction of the lift, which took only 12 minutes in each direction, was charged WH Guinn of Hammersmith, London. For him the required engine power of 25 horsepower. He could carry more ships, using the same amount of water, which gave her a huge savings. The steam engine helped to overcome friction and provided extra braking.

To raise the boat, his factory to the caisson at the level at which wanted to enter the captain. The operator closed the downcomer lift gates for the ship and gave a signal to the engine room, using the ship’s telegraph. Motor starts up a caisson, and the other fell. When the caisson descends on water at the lowest level, he started to swim, freeing the system from its weight and removing the effect of the counterweight. At the opposite end of the inclined hoist, when the caisson is approaching the upper point of the trajectory deviation is provided to facilitate lifting of the tank. Additional wheels on the caisson are contacted with additional rails on either side trajectory normal, and the rear wheels are lowered into the pit, allowing to keep the caisson flat position. The upper reservoir touched the wooden gates, enshrined in the upper end of the dock. When the caisson reached the top of the hydraulic pistons firmly shoved it on the wooden shutters and gates downcomer at the end of the tank and at the dock opens, allowing the ship to leave.

The disadvantage of the system was that the gateways in Watford Gap, located to the south, never extended, limiting the number of ships that could go through them. In 1911, the lift has been preserved to save money after the conversion Gateway in 1909. In 1928, the mechanisms put into scrap metal, and the lift since then has not worked.

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