Sunday, 22 June 2014

BCN Main Line to Birmingham June 2014

Our Summer Cruise 2014 - Day 7 Part Two
Completed 15.5 miles, 24 locks and 3 tunnels

So having come up the Wolverhampton Flight of Locks (21), we headed south towards Birmingham at about 1pm.

Regeneration - here house building much in evidence
Local industry still borders the canal

This first section is the 1772 James Brindley contour canal - here twisting and turning

This section was semi-rural along a reedy length

Evidence of an industrial fire?!

Where does this Junction lead to? It's the line of the 'old' canal from Deepfields Jnc - the Wednesday Oak Loop - now a dead end to the old Waterways Bradley Workshops, where they make the lock gates. We've never been down there - one day?

At this point, the canal was 'improved' by the engineering genius, Thomas Telford, driving a straight new Main Line, using cuttings and embankments and here the Cosely Tunnel in 1837, so avoiding a lengthy detour around the hill 

At 328 metres, it is not that long but rather wet!

More industry from the past - slowly returning to nature or specified for housing?

Following the New Main Line - under a rather low bridge at the Factory Locks, good job I had the shorter exhaust chimney on!

Passing Caggy Stevens yard at Tipton

Looking back along the very straight Main Line

Pudding Green Junction - leads around to Pelsall (where we went last year - see link) 
Bromford Junction  - we go straight on!

Under the M5 and into a large Telford Cutting

This is Galton Tunnel, now with a concrete inner sleeve

Smethwick Pumping Station - built to raise water to the old, higher canal level. Built in 1892 to replace an older steam engine and house - now with a replica chimney - it used to pump water from the lower Main Line level of 453ft to the Wolverhampton Level at 473ft

Telford's ornate iron bridge on the Engine Arm - built to bring coal to the Pumping Station

Looking back at the narrows where a Toll Office would have been

Examples of the many side wharfs, arms and loops that served the local industry

Being overtaken by a man on a mission - the Stewart Lloyd Tug No.4 at full speed?
Funnily enough, we pulled up just behind him at the Sheepcote St. Bridge moorings!

Having arrived in Birmingham at 6pm - 9 engine hours, 15.5 miles and 24 locks

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