The Falkirk Wheel – The World’s First and Only Rotating Boat Lift


The Falkirk Wheel, is a real wonder to watch in terms of how it works to connect both the Forth and Clyde Canals with the  Union Canal.  It is constructed based on Archimedes principle of displacement.  That is, the mass of the boat sailing into the gondola will displace an exactly proportional volume of water so that the final combination of ‘boat plus water’ balances the original total mass.  

The two canals served by the wheel were previously connected by a series of 11 locks that stepped down across a distance of 1.5km, but these were dismantled in 1933 breaking the link. 

The Millennium Link was built for a whopping £84.5m with an ambition to restore the navigability across Scotland on the historic Forth, Clyde and Union Canals.


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