Saturday August 12, 2017
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A ship enters Caluny slipway on the Elblag Canal near Jelonki, Poland August 9, 2017. — Reuters picA ship enters Caluny slipway on the Elblag Canal near Jelonki, Poland August 9, 2017. — Reuters picELBLAG (Poland), Aug 12 —  Pleasure craft using Poland’s Elblag Canal can appear to be seen as sailing through grassy plains as they follow tracks on land in an unusual solution for dealing with elevation on the waterway.

The canal, approximately 240km north of Warsaw, uses a system of five inclined planes between its lakes, which are too steep to be navigated using locks.

Rail tracks run carriages to transport the boats.

The difference in elevation between the lowest and highest level is almost 100 meters (330 feet). The biggest plane has a rise of 21 metres and is 262 metres long; the smallest a rise of 13 meters.

Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia commissioned the 80 km-long canal system, including the on land bit, to connect what was then East Prussia to the Baltic Sea.

It took 16 years to build and was completed in 1860. It was used to transport wood that was used in ships’ masts. It is now used exclusively for tourism. — Reuters

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