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Canals - is a comeback coming?

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...the canal network is hugely varied.

I think the point made about capacity/container sizes, similar to the problem with the out-of-touch rail network is the killer. I do think the idea of a general increase in use would be a great thing (lorries = yuk no two ways about it), but who could advocate building new canal network over rail? Not me, except maybe in particular cases, and I'd prefer to keep my little pieces of undisturbed tranquil heaven thankyou very much! :P

 

And it travels through out the country

CanalMap.gif

 

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Hopelessness infects this landscape like a miasma. Whatever young adults remain in these places are not thinking about a plausible future, only looking to complete their full array of tattoos and lose themselves in raptures of sex, methedrine, and video aggression."

 

## http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/clu...e-becoming.html

 

This is where Kunstler loses me - he has a lot of very valid points to make, but can't resist larding them with this kind of OTT rhetoric. Whatever happened to letting the facts speak for themselves? And for that matter, leaving aside the tattoos, methedrine, and video aggression (whatever that is) what's wrong with losing oneself in sexual rapture? :P

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Maybe the thread will have a second life

 

A canalboat is a community in microcosm.

In theory, it may be possible to have a solar-powered boat. Or at least run a number of its functions

from solat. And you definitely go "off the grid"

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Makes sense. In a time of rising oil prices, and slow travel by road,

the less cluttered canals can provide a cheaper and efficient alternative.

 

They were built as commercial arteries, and so connect some important places with

important places.

 

It is good they were maintained, though it meant turning them over for leisure purposes.

Now emerging will be a battkle between leisure and commercial interests.

 

Why should there be a battle?

 

Many train enthusiasts spend many hours of their own time (UNPAID) restoring old steam engines/rolling stock with the thought of possibly restoring and old railway line to offer a service to some fare paying passengers.

 

Here’s one in my local area.

 

http://www.rvr.org.uk/

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rother_Valley_Railway

 

 

I went on the grand union canal a few years back, and I must say that it was a beautiful holiday, but if anyone is more concerned about sitting INSIDE the narrow boat then I'd question why they are there in the first place. I suppose what I'm getting at why couldn't a holiday maker instead of transporting a boat load of 20th century consumer crap inside the boat, why couldn't it be filled with coal. At least the genuine enthusiast would get to see a more in depth view of how the canals actually work, and the (pilot/captain?) of the narrow boat could get a discounted holiday, the transportation company would also have the benefit of not having the expense of paying a wage to the (pilot/captain?) of the narrow boat and would in fact actually reap in an income from it.

 

If there are any old lock keepers cottages available, these would also make great B&B's for those moving thier "Loads"

 

I'd be happy to take a load of coal down to a power station, and then on the way back maybe bring up a load of cattle feed, do a little fishing, see a different part of the countryside etc.

 

Obviously I have no idea as to what legislation stands in the way, but food for thought I think.

 

:)

 

 

 

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I think the point made about capacity/container sizes, similar to the problem with the out-of-touch rail network is the killer

 

Maybe not. You could use them for carrying things not imported in containers.

http://www.citymayors.com/transport/london-canals.html

 

The capacity of the London canal network is in excess of 10 million tonnes, equivalent to around two million heavy lorry trips a year. Although this represents a small percentage of total London road freight, the canal routes access inner London where the damage, congestion and pollution caused by heavy vehicles is at its greatest. Were the canal network to be used to capacity it could rival the quantities of freight currently carried on the rail network.

Waste materials are suited to this. They are created in cities which have the most congested roads.

There has also been investment in the development of a multi-modal refuse vehicle that can be used to collect municipal waste in containers which can be transferred to barges or rail wagons, along with a new type of skip carrying barge.

 

Building materials are suited because theres no need to put these in containers, they are still produced in the UK, they are heavy and the tracks carrying them damage the road.

 

Over the last few years barges out to the west of London have been moving 50,000 tonnes of sand and gravel a year. Now, some major developments such as the Olympics, Crossrail - the new underground railway through London, and the King’s Cross railway lands redevelopment are seriously investigating the movements of large quantities of materials by water. Two other big infrastructure tunnelling projects for sewerage and electricity challenge London’s capacity to shift and recycle enormous tonnages of materials. These too will need to use water transport if they are to avoid causing major congestion in the capital.

 

Theres a detailed document describing plans for canal usage in London here.

 

"Survey of the West London Canal Network to identify opportunities for the transport of waste, recyclates and construction materials - Phase 1 Final Report Volume I"

 

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/microsites/freight/d...rt-Volume-I.pdf

 

 

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There does seem to be a rejuvenation of some sections of canals and a large percentage is for leisure activity.

 

I remember seeing a documentary somewhere on one of the discovery channels regarding the construction and operation of the Falkirk Wheel, a fascinating piece of engineering that takes a modern concept to joining two of Scotland's Canals. I hope to visit it in my lifetime .........

 

http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/falkirk/falkirkwheel/

 

it is the Falkirk Wheel itself that draws visitors to this spot. It is 35m or 115ft high, the height of eight double-decker buses. Each gondola contains 300 tonnes of water, meaning that the wheel moves 600 tonnes on each lift. But because the gondolas are always in balance (because boats displace their own weight of water) moving them takes surprisingly little power. Up to eight boats can be carried at any one time.

 

 

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Maybe not. You could use them for carrying things not imported in containers.

Waste materials are suited to this. They are created in cities which have the most congested roads.

 

Building materials are suited because theres no need to put these in containers, they are still produced in the UK, they are heavy and the tracks carrying them damage the road.

 

Big part of London 2012 Olympic process is to use canals rather than road transport if possible

 

http://www.british-waterways.org/media/doc...ecification.doc

 

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle4193204.ece

 

I would add that if use of canals got big for commercial purposes then yes this would conflict with leisure use as with all things there is only a limited capacity - and with canals LOCKS will have the same impact or bigger than red lights do on the road !

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