Forget about the locks, the Elblag Canal in Poland moves boats up and down on RAILWAYS

Forget about the locks, the boats on this canal go up and down hills on an incredible system of RAILWAYS laid on land

  • The Elblag Canal in Poland uses a system of five inclined planes between its lakes, which are too steep for locks
  • Thus, the railroad tracks circulate wagons to carry boats up and down hills up to 69 feet in height.
  • Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia commissioned the 80 km (50 mile) long canal system

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Discover one of the strangest transport systems in Europe.

Pleasure craft using the Elblag Canal in Poland can appear to navigate through grassy plains as they follow tracks on land in an unusual solution to cope with elevation on the waterway.

The canal, about 240 km (150 miles) north of Warsaw, uses a system of five inclined planes between its lakes, which are too steep to be traversed using locks.

The Elblag Canal uses a system of five inclined planes between its lakes, which are too steep to be traversed through locks

The boats are transported on wagons that go up and down the railroad tracks.  The largest plane has an elevation of 21 meters (69 feet)

The boats are transported on wagons that go up and down the railroad tracks. The largest plane has an elevation of 21 meters (69 feet)

Pleasure boats using the Elblag Canal can appear to navigate through grassy plains.  Image courtesy of Creative Commons licenses

Pleasure boats using the Elblag Canal can appear to navigate through grassy plains. Image courtesy of Creative Commons licenses

Thus, the railroads circulate wagons to transport boats.

The difference in altitude between the lowest and the highest level is almost 100 meters (330 feet).

The largest aircraft has an elevation of 21 meters (69 feet) and is 262 meters (859 feet) long. The smallest a climb of 13 meters (42 feet).

Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia commissioned the 80 km (50 mile) long canal system, including the land portion, to connect what was then East Prussia to the Baltic Sea.

Its construction took 16 years and was completed in 1860.

It was used to transport the wood used in the masts of ships.

It is now used exclusively for tourism.

Unsurprisingly, it was named one of the Seven Wonders of Poland, alongside Wieliczka Salt Mine, Torun Old Town, Malbork Castle, Wawel Castle and Cathedral, Old Town Zamość town and the Main Market Square and the Old Town of Krakow.

Tripadvisor user Krisek praised the device, saying: “It’s hard to believe and imagine how it works, especially when you realize the age of this build.”

The difference in elevation between the lowest and highest level of the Elblag Channel is almost 100 meters (330 feet)

The difference in elevation between the lowest and highest level of the Elblag Channel is almost 100 meters (330 feet)

Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia commissioned the 80 km (50 mile) long canal system, including the land portion, to connect what was then East Prussia to the Baltic Sea

Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia commissioned the 80 km (50 mile) long canal system, including the land portion, to connect what was then East Prussia to the Baltic Sea

Unsurprisingly, the Elblag Canal has been named one of the Seven Wonders of Poland

Unsurprisingly, the Elblag Canal has been named one of the Seven Wonders of Poland

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