Replacing the Fraser River Rail Bridge

Interesting item from the Netherlands.

Dutch Engineers have been at the forefront at lift bridge technology for over a century, due to the many canals that traverse the country.

The “tilting lock” would be especially beneficial to railways as there would no need for a lift span at all and trains could cross the bridge at faster speeds in complete safety.

The two bridges that are in dire need of replacing is the crumbling Patullo Bridge and its neighbour, the downright decrepit Fraser River Rail Bridge.

Instead of a complicated and expensive lift span for trains, boats and barges could pass using the “tilting lock” technology, which would both reduce the cost of a lift span, yet at the same time increase railway efficiency.

The only downside I can see is that there would be a size limit for water craft traveling Eat past the bridge.

Innovative Tilting Lock Concept ai??i?? Bridge Doesnai??i??t Open But Ships Submerge To Pass Under

A major road bridge with no need to open because ships ai???submergeai??i?? under it ai??i?? this is the new Tilting Lock invented by Dutch engineers at Royal HaskoningDHV.

Major bridges that move to allow sailing yachts to pass beneath them, like the Zeeland Bridge in the Netherlands, are causing daily traffic congestion when they open for the boats, peaking during the summer season. To resolve this problem, Royal HaskoningDHV has invented the Tilting Lock ai??i?? designed to allow boats to ai???submergeai??i?? under the bridge instead of it opening for them to pass under.

The Tilting Lock (Kantelsluis) is a floating structure which has two separate water filled channels with space for five yachts at a time. When the lock is level, the water surface in both channels is 4 metre lower than the water in the river. To start service the lock will tilt in order to raise the level of one of the channels to meet the water level outside the Tilting Lock

tilting bridgeSailing boats enter the Titling Lock. Ai?? Royal HaskoningDHV

Adding 8 metre vertical clearance

Mr Carolus Poldervaart, a Royal HaskoningDHV designer: ai???Once the yacht is in the channel, the lock will tilt and ai???submergeai??i?? the boat by 8 metre. After the boat has passed under the bridge the lock reverts to its original position to level the water inside and outside the channel again. This way almost all yachts will be able to pass under busy movable bridges without the bridge having to open. No more waiting traffic, no more waiting

The Tilting Lock does not pump water and no weight is being displaced. It remains in position, with tilting being the only movement. Mr Poldervaart explains: ai???The tilting motion is restricted, mainly to guarantee that the sides of the lock do not touch the mast of the

Ai?? Royal HaskoningDHVAi?? Royal HaskoningDHV

Energy use: equivalent to four hours light from an ecolamp

The energy used by the Tilting Lock is extremely low. Mr Poldervaart continues: ai???The lock tilts 32 degrees in three minutes and it takes 30 seconds to set the tilting ai???in motionai??i??. In normal weather conditions this uses 0.04 kWh ai??i?? as little as an ecolamp needs to burn for four Stopping the tilting produces energy, as do the solar panels on the lock. This energy will be used to tilt the lock and for lighting, as well as opening and closing the lock doors.

The lock will be made of steel and will be built at a wharf and then transported to its final location, enabling 15 to 30 ai???oversizedai??i?? yachts per hour to pass the bridge without it opening. Capacity may vary depending on width and length of the lock. Smaller sailing and motor yachts will still be able to pass the bridge as normal.

 Ai?? Royal HaskoningDHVAi?? Royal HaskoningDHV

Benefits higher than the costs

The investment for building such a lock is ai??i??60 million (CAD $81.60 million), depending on size, but the benefits will be enormous. A cost/benefit analysis predicts that the Titling Lock at another busy Dutch opening bridge, the Haringvlietbrug, will yield ai??i??100 million (CAD $136.44 million) over a period of 25 years, with a pay-back time of 12 years.

Applicable as ordinary lock

The Tilting Lock can also be used as an energy efficient ordinary lock with no water being lost when moving ships from higher to lower water levels ai??i?? a persistent problem in canal systems that are dependent on rainwater to maintain sufficient water depth.


3 Responses to “Replacing the Fraser River Rail Bridge”
  1. Rico says:

    I like it, unfortunately there are still significant port facilities upstream so they would need to accomidate panamax freighters, at which point I assume it would not be viable.

    Zwei replies: Again you have it wrong. The Fraser river cannot now handle Panama Max ships, the river is not deep enough for these ships. This is why the Massey tunnel is being replaced so the river can be deepened. The same is true for the Fraser River Rail Bridge. The Bridge can handle ships only 120 feet wide, which again prohibits Panama Max ships. The Fraser East of the Bridges is also quire shallow and is in need of constant dredging which has not been done in years. Most of the traffic East of the Bridge is log booms for the mills which can happily sail under the bridge and not through the lock.

  2. Haveacow says:

    Who physically owns the existing bridge, a railway, city, province or the federal government?

  3. zweisystem says:

    The BN & SF own the bridge, with the CN, SRR of BC, Via and Amtrak having running rights. There is nothing stopping TransLink from building a combined road/rail bridge and I do think that the railways would welcome a more modern bridge. Passenger trains are restricted to 10 mph and freights restricted to 5 mph!

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