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Meet the world's one-of-a-kind ENORMO barge-bowling bridge of Falkirk • The Register


Stashed in: For Milo, Design, I want to go to there.

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The wheel is huge (35m across), though cunningly concealed from the car park so it emerges to dominate the landscape as one approaches on foot. The steel and concrete structure contains 15,000 hand-tightened bolts and one can't help but be reminded of some Victorian fantasy as it slowly revolves to deliver the 300 tonne, perfectly balanced, gondolas.

The wheel can lift six boats at a time, consuming only 1.5 kilowatt-hours - enough to boil six to eight kettles as we're repeatedly reminded during our tour. The boats (and the water in which they sit) rise 25 metres to the Union Canal, while the wheel lowers an equally-heavy load on the other side for balance. The balance is perfect as boats displace their weight in water while interlocking cogs keep the gondolas horizontal throughout.

It takes a little over five minutes for a full rotation, and the direction is changed every few days to keep the wear and tear evenly spread, though a good deal of the traffic is the tourist tour which goes up and down every couple of hours.

Majestic. Simply majestic.

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