Inclined Again

With our son and his fiancée aboard during a lovely fine weekend we took a small detour to go up
and down the Ronquières Inclined Plane on the Charleroi-Brussels Canal. This one consists of two
tanks of water capable of transporting barges of up to 1,350 tonnes. The tanks run on a series of wheels
along large rails like railway lines. The difference in level between the top and bottom is 70m and the
distance covered is 1.5 km.
In the 1960s when this Inclined Plane was constructed and the Canal modified and upgraded the result reduced
the number of conventional locks on the Charleroi-Brussels Canal from 31 to 10, once again introducing a huge
saving in both water and time. The entire operation of passing through the Inclined Plane should take about
40-45 minutes, but there can be quite a wait before getting in as this Canal is still quite busy commercially.