Sunday, March 22, 2009
Awesome Niederfinow Boat Lift
This is the Niederfinow boat lift, one of the oldest boat lift in Germany. After a brief information from our respected trainer Mr. Peter May we headed toward Niederfinow in Brandenburg to take some photos of Niederfinow Boat Lift which lies on the Oder-Havel-Kanal. The lift overcomes a difference in elevation of 44m.
On 17 June the large navigation between Berlin and Stettin was opened. Near Niederfinow the difference in elevation was overcome using a staircase lock with four chambers. One can still visit the remains of these locks today (seen in the foreground of the accompanying aerial photograph).
The capacity of the staircase locks was quickly exceeded, therefore, between 1927 and 1934 the boat lift was built and inaugurated on 21 March 1934. The lift is 60 m high, the length 94 m, taking five minutes for the trough to move through the 36m elevation difference.
Picture from inside the lift structure.
The boat lift consists of 14,000 Tonnes of riveted structural steelwork standing on steel columns. The Oder-Havel-Kanal approaches the head of the lift on a 4,000 Tonne riveted steelwork aqueduct. The trough when filled weighs 4,290 tonnes and hangs on 256 steel cables, these cross over guide rollers and support 192 counterweights which balance the trough. The security of the lift is maintained by keeping half the cables in tension and the other half relaxed in reserve. The guide rollers have a diameter of 3.5m.
Pin gearing with D.C.motors in Leonards electric motor speed controllers, connected together by a shaft allow a symmetrical drive. This arrangement allows the exact synchronisation of the four pin gears. The four Leonard controllers each have an output of 55 kilowatts totalling 220 kilowatts. Four worm geared shafts are driven which intersect with internal threads built into the troughs. These move freely under normal circumstances but would seize if a cable broke providing extra safety.
Steel construction of the upper aqueduct.
ToT participants visting the Niederfinow Boat Lift.
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