The Travels of Tug 44

Strepy-Thieu Boat Lift - Belgium

The Strey-Thieu boat lift is the world's highest "lock" at 238 feet. It is located on the Canal du Centre in Belgium.

This is the lower entrance to the lift. On the right you can see a giant box filled with water and boats being lifted up the elevator, and on the left the gates are just closing.

Here the canal door is being lifted to allow boats to move in and out of the lock chamber.

A view looking down into the lock chamber. At the bottom you see the double doors. One light-gray door to block off the canal water, and a second dark-gray door which forms the end of the water box. See also the cables visible along the water box on the right edge. The groups of 7 cables are connected to concrete counterweights suspended from pulleys at the top of the structure. The groups of 2 cables are attached to winch drums, also located in the top deck of the structure.

Here you see a lift has just begun. The water box is visible with it's door closed on the front. Below is the canal door, with it's safety bumper, and a walkway.

This is the machinery room in the top deck of the boat lift building. Along each side are the pulleys which operate the counterweights and electrically-driven winches. The pulleys are about 14 feet in diameter.

That's a close-up view of the pulleys. The group of 7 pulleys to the right are for the counterweights. On the left is a giant winch drum to provide the little power needed to overcome friction. The counterweights do all the rest.

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