Richard Birdsall Rogers - Description of Lift Lock Transcript

Peterborough Lift Lock
Go to Diagram



Short Description of the Hydraulic Lock at Peterboro, Ont.

Sent to LW. Jones

Jan’y 14th/05



The Hydraulic Balance Lift Lock on the Trent Canal at Peterboro Ontario Canada, was constructed to overcome a level of 65 feet. It consists of two steel chambers 140 feet in length by 35 feet wide in the clear, placed side by side which are supported by heavy trusses and girders which rest on two cast iron rams 7 feet 6 inches in diameter. These rams sink in to two presses of cast steel setting in wells which presses are seven feet 8 ˝ inches inside diameter and which are connected at the top, below the packing boxes, by a pipe twelve inches in diameter, in the center of which is the main valve for controlling the motion of the chambers.

Proposed Foundation for Presses for Hydraulic Lift Lock
Trent Canal Superintending Engineers Office
Document from Collection, Peterborough, Ont. [189-]

The power which operates the Locks is obtained from the weight of a surcharge of about ten inches of water which is allowed to run into one of the chambers, when it is in its upper position opposite the upper reach.

There is also a set of regulating valves to each press, by means of which either chamber can be raised or lowered independently.

There are two gates at either [ends] of both chambers, one of these gates closes the end of the reach and the other is fastened to the end of the chamber and are hinged at the bottom. These gates are made buoyant by means of hollow cylinders placed in the recesses of the gates.

The gates are operated by hydraulic engines placed in recesses of the walls; water pressure of about 650 pounds to the square inch is obtained from an accumulator of 20 inches in diameter and 30 feet stroke which is placed in the East tower. The accumulator is kept full by means of a triplicate acting pump operated by a water turbine under a head of about 60 feet which is placed in the pump room under the driveway. The gate engines, regulating valves, and capstans are operated by water from the accumulator at the pressure of 650 pounds to the inch.

The junction between the movable chamber and the end of the reach is made water tight by means of an inflated hose, the compressed air for which is obtained from an automatic air compressor.


Air Chambers 1


Turbines for Construction 2

The pressure in the rams is about 600 pounds to the square inch. Vessels are obliged to stop 100 feet away from the locks by means of hydraulic capstans. It takes eleven to twelve minutes to make a lockage, the actual ascent or descent taking about one and a half to two minutes.

There is about 1700 tons of steel in the structure and 26,000 cubic yards of concrete. The steel work was done by the Dominion Bridge Company of Montreal from plans furnished by the Superintending Engineer of the Canal.


Photograph Information & Credit

1 Curved Rack, Pinion and Chain to lower and raise the Gates of the Hydraulic Lift Lock at Peterborough, Ont.
2 Turbines at the site of the Hydraulic Lift Lock at Peterborough, Ont.








Peterborough Lift Lock
Back to Top