Trollhattan Locks


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The first set of locks were completed at Trollhattan in 1800 as part of the Trollhatte Canal to connect Gothenburg on the Swedish west coast with the industry in Lake Vanern. In 1844 a second set of locks was constructed to match the maximum dimensions of the newly-completed Gota Canal, allowing ships to travel between Stockholm and Gothenburg. In 1916, a third set of locks was built to allow even larger ships. This third set still is in use today, supporting “Vanermax” ships of up to 291 ft (89 m) long, with a 44-ft (13.4 m) beam, a 17.7 (5.4 m) draft and a 88-ft (27m) air draft.

The descent at the locks is 127ft (38.9m) over a half-mile, so each generation of locks was built with connected flights of chambers, making for an exciting passage or viewing opportunity. From our berth at Spikon Gasthamn, we rode our bikes two miles along the Trollhatte Canal to reach the locks, where we watched commercial ships and pleasure craft boats pass through, toured the old lock sites, and visited the Trollhatte Canal musuem.

Below are trip highlights from August 24th, 2019 at Trollhattan, Sweden. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Cycling
Cycling along the Trollhatte Canal to tour the locks, about 2 miles (3km) south of the marina.
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Rix River
The cargo ship Rix River filling the basin as it rises in the uppermost lock at Trollhattan. The 288ft (88m) by 42ft (12.8m) ship is only three feet shorter and two feet narrower than the Trollhatte Canal maximum dimensions.
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Bow
The bow of the Rix River towering above Jennifer as the ship is nearly at the top of the lock.
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Pleasure Craft
Two pleasure craft readying to lock down after the Rix River has departed. Commercial craft have priority.
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Middle Lock
Two more pleasure craft locking up in the middle lock of the Trollhattan flight.
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Passing
We’ve not seen this before—the upper lock was drained while the middle lock filled, then the doors opened between them and the pleasure craft passed in the flight, heading in opposite directions.
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Door Closing
The door closing behind the pleasure craft in the upper lock of the Trollhattan flight.
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1844 Middle Staircase
The first set of locks were completed at Trollhattan in 1800 and in 1844 a new set of locks was constructed to match the maximum dimensions of the newly-completed Gota Canal and allow ships to travel from Stockholm to Gothenburg. In 1916, another set of locks was built to allow even larger ships and these are currently in use today. Pictured are the remains of the middle staircase from the 1844 locks.
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1800 Lower Staircase
Looking down the lower staircase of the original 1800 locks at Trollhattan.
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1800 Upper Staircase
The upper staircase of the original lock system built in 1800.
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Museum
The Trollhatte Canal museum details the history of the canal and the industry around it. We were surprised to learn the canal is open through the winter, with icebreaking tugs working to keep the route clear for ship traffic. This model shows the current 1916 locks at the far left, the three staircases of the 1844 locks run from the top right, across the middle to the basin where the ship is, and then up parallel to the 1916 lock. The two staircases of the original 1800 lock are at the far right bottom right and second from the right at the top.
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Trollhattan Kyrka
Trollhattan Kyrka (church), consecrated in 1862, is built on an island in the middle of the canal system.
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Trollhattan
Beautiful clear and calm night at Trollhattan on the Gota Alv river.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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