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Falkirk Wheel

1930s

The Forth & Clyde and Union Canals were linked by a staircase of 11 locks which took nearly a day to transit. These were dismantled in 1933.

Falkirk Wheel

1994

The concept of a wheel as a boat lift was first considered as a solution for Falkirk. Other ideas included rolling eggs, tilting tanks, a giant see-saw and overhead monorails!

Falkirk Wheel

Inspiration

The final design is claimed to have been inspired by a Celtic double headed spear, a vast turning propeller of a Clydebank built ship, the ribcage of a whale and the spine of a fish.

Falkirk Wheel

1998

Work started on the ambitious £84.5million Millennium Link projects to rejoin the two canals.

Falkirk Wheel

Building The Wheel

Parts were constructed and assembled, like one giant Meccano set, in Derbyshire, then dismantled and transported to Falkirk in 35 lorry loads before being bolted back together and craned into position.

Falkirk Wheel

Big Wheel, Big Numbers

1,200 tonnes of steel was used to create The Wheel and over 1,000 construction staff helped to build it.

Falkirk Wheel

Nuts and Bolts

The structure contains over 15,000 bolts which are matched with 45,000 bolts holes. Each of these bolts was hand tightened.

Falkirk Wheel

2002

The world’s first and only rotating boat lift was opened by Her Majesty, The Queen.

Falkirk Wheel

Double Decker Buses

The Falkirk Wheel is 35 metres tall, the equivalent of 8 double decker buses stacked on top of each other.

Falkirk Wheel

Waterway to Travel

The 600 tonne gondolas hold 500,000 litres of water, enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool.

Falkirk Wheel

Green Machine

The Wheel only uses 1.5kWh of energy to turn, the same amount as it would take to boil 8 household kettles.

Falkirk Wheel

A Wheely Good Time!

More than 5.5million visitors have taken a trip to visit The Wheel since it opened in 2002.

Falkirk Wheel

How Does It Work?

Watch this video to find out how The Falkirk Wheel works!

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