|Vacations 2016 - Road Scholar French Canal Voyage By Barge: Discover Alsace-Lorraine - Arzviller Inclined Plane
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The Arzviller Inclined Plane was one of the highlights of our barge trip on the Marne Rhine Canal
Route du Plan Incliné, 57820 Saint-Louis, France
The captain piloted our 128' long by 16' wide canal barge into a huge bathtub on rails in the Arzviller Inclined Plane. The bathtub is just large enough to accommodate our barge. Once we were in and secured, the door at the back end of the bathtub is closed and the cavity between the bathtub and the canal is drained and the bathtub is disconnected from the entry door. The bathtub is connected by multiple cables to massive concrete counterweights that run through pulleys at the top of the mountain. They begin to drain water from the bathtub until its total weight is less than that of the concrete counterweights. Then the counterweights begin to roll down the mountain on their own rails, pulling on the cable and pulling the bathtub and our barge up the side of the mountain. It is all done by gravity. The total vertical travel is 148 feet on what looks to be 500-600' of rail up the side of the mountain. The trip took about 5 minutes. The Arzviller Inclined Plane was one of the highlights of our trip.
Our trip up the inclined plane went smoothly. But back in 2013 the sightseeing boat Paris was not so fortunate.
As it was about to enter the boat lift from the top end the boat lift disconnected from the upper canal and started sliding down the mountain.
The Paris got wedged in the opening and thankfully the bathtub stopped sliding and the passengers were able to get off safely
Here is a short article on the French Waterways website with a photo of the Paris stuck in the Arzvillier Inclined Plane boat lift
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