Victoria Lock: upper land-racks

This should show a Google Map of the upper end of Victoria Lock on the Newry Ship Canal.

I think that water enters the lock from the sluices upstream and eastward of the upper gates; I guess that it is also controlled by the second set of gear just below the upper east gate, but I don’t know why two sets of controls would be needed.

The upper end

Intake sluices seen from the west side of the lock

Walkway across the intake

Pit behind the sluices. Perhaps there are screens there that have to be cleared occasionally

Traditional appearance …

… but what I presume to be the hydraulic box of tricks at the other end

Hydraulic hoses running to the tops of the cylinders

My guess at how this works: I think that the sluice is closed, with the paddle down, and the hydraulic ram is raised inside the vertical black cylinder. I think that, when the ram is lowered, it pushes down the triangular thingie below it, which pushes down the beam to which it is attached, which hauls down the two chains bolted to it at either end, thus turning the wheels and lifting the other ends of the chains with the sluice attached …. Does that sound plausible?

Note the hydraulic hoses at the bottom of the cylinder

But how did it work when it was manually operated? Turn something that turns the shaft and the wheels, but then what? Where did the cylinder come in?

The lower end: the second set of gear

I have no evidence that the intake sluices and the second set of gear are part of the same system, but I can’t imagine what else the second set of gear could be for. I’m guessing that it controls low-level sluices by which the water can enter the lock chamber without causing much turbulence.

The second set of gear with hydraulic box behind it

What could the horizontal wheel be for?

Why have these things got two spindles? John Ditchfield suggests that the inboard one is used for (relatively) quick operation and the outer (small pinion) when the going gets harder


Grease cap? John Ditchfield says it’s probably a Stauffer lubricator or generic equivalent: a Swiss invention, where you fill the screw-on cap with grease and screw it down a bit each time you need to inject a bit of grease

Oiling points?

Is that some form of ratchet on the outside of the vertical metal cylinder? If so, how did it work? John Ditchfield says that is it probably a position indicator, in the form of a scale (marked in inches and cm?) to quantify the height of the top of the screw

Return to the top-level Victoria Lock page.

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