The lifts on the old Canal du Centre are a series of four hydraulic boat lifts near the town of La Louvière in the Sillon industriel of Wallonia, classified both as Wallonia's Major Heritage and as a World Heritage Site (province of Hainaut). Along a particular 7km stretch of the Canal du Centre, which connects the river basins of the Meuse and the Scheldt, the water level rises by 66.2 meters. To overcome this difference, the 15.4-meter lift at Houdeng-Goegnies was opened in 1888, and the other three lifts, each with a 16.93m rise, opened in 1917.

The elevators are double, consisting of two vertically mobile tanks or caissons, each supported in the center by an iron column. The two columns are hydraulically linked in such a way that one caisson rises as the other descends, the weight of one counterbalancing the weight of the other.

These lifts were designed by Edwin Clark of the British company Clark, Stansfield & Clark.

The lifts were part of the inspiration behind the Peterborough and Kirkfield Lift Locks in Canada. In the late 1800s Richard Birdsall Rogers visited the locks as to understand and study possible ideas for a lift lock system.
View in Google Earth Categories: Canals, UNESCO
By: kjfitz


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