The Journey -
The picture is taken from the WEST bank, looking EAST. The dotted line X Y is the River Elbe. Magdeburg is a couple of kilometres to the right (South-ish), Hamburg some considerable way left (North-ish). The new aqueduct was opened in 2003. It is over 900 metres long, though much of this is over the flood plain.
The Mittleland Canal comes in towards the bottom left hand corner of the picture, at A.
The original line goes from 'A' .
to 'C', which is a vertical boat lift (the Rothensee Ship Lift) taking boats down 11 to 18 metres, depending on the level of the river) to the river level.
boats continued down the lock cut (the continuing dotted line) until it meets with the River Elbe (the actual junction is off the picture to the right).
at this point the boats turned left, and went downstream towards 'X' until the junction with a lock cut where they turned Right to get to 'D' a lock that takes the boats up to the level of the Elbe-Havel-Canal (B)
The first improvement to this procedure was to parallel the boat lift 'C' by a new and much longer and wider lock 'E' that could accommodate larger barges.
The Aqueduct has been many years in the planning and building. Preliminary work started pre World War 2.
We did not cross the aqueduct, but went down the old ship lift to get onto the Elbe. We then went downstream, passing under the aqueduct. We had a three-day journey down the Elbe to the town of Domitz (185 km in 3 days, day 2 becoming a record day 73 km in 6.5 hrs, hence averaging over 11 kph) where we picked up the Muritz-Elbe-Wasserstrasse.
We will cross the aqueduct on our way home next, hopefully claiming the honours of being the first narrow boats to cross it.