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Old 09-10-2008, 03:20 AM
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Default CANALS as transportation

Headquarters 06-09-2008, 12:50 AM Dunno if this has been debated -here it goes :


In early industrial times ,canals were the most important means of transportation over any real distance-as land travel was slower,costlier and more perilous.The Russians had canals from the St.Petersburg to Moscow ,the British Isles are crisscrossed with them ,as is central Europe,France;Netherlands ,germany in part etc etc .


In the US they opened up a canal -(was it called the Albany canal or some such ?) in the first half of the 1800s ,a megaconstruction of its time - cost of transporting one sack of flour 100 kg -dropped with 95 % from NYC to the frontier.It is speculated that it played a major part in the colonization of the Western frontier - and the construction of the nation .(Does anyone see were I am going with this )


As with the rail discussion -canals could be viable means for travel and commerce .They are old - sure - but the technology was managable in the 1800s -and should be managable if trains are .


A really good resource would be a relief map showing canals and bodies of water that are traversable by barge or larger boat ,railroads and major roads in for instance central Europe,the US etc


In game terms the standard missions of find the missing tech man ,kill the pirates/be the pirates , and rebuild your fiefdom etcetc are all playable with the canal background .


Has anyone got any links or other material to share ?

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TiggerCCW UK 06-09-2008, 02:54 AM Only problem I see is that a lot of canals were closed and drained when trains and roads replaced them. Also a lot of locks may be in poor shape, limiting the distance you could travel. If you have a functional section of canal though, it will be very useful for transportation - and harder to disrupt than a railway, apart from the locks.

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Targan 06-09-2008, 03:12 AM If you have a functional section of canal though, it will be very useful for transportation - and harder to disrupt than a railway, apart from the locks.Obstructions on railway tracks may not be too hard to remove, just take some time. But I can see some canals being blocked by sunken barges lying cross-ways in the canal, and that would be a very difficult obstacle to budge. Then there would be other obstacles in the canals too like road vehicles and trees. I do agree with most of what the previous posters have said about canals - I'm just playing Devil's advocate.

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TiggerCCW UK 06-09-2008, 03:23 AM True Targan - I hadn't thought about blocking a canal, just that it would be easier to blow a hole in a railway line than a canal. There are plans to reopen a load of the old canals here in NI and the Republic for tourists. Here's a couple of links


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7439096.stm


http://www.4ni.co.uk/northern_ireland_news.asp?id=77152


And here's one about the UK's canals, again primarily for tourists


http://www.waterscape.com/?gclid=CIC...FRsoEAodqDQ-Ww

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Targan 06-09-2008, 03:27 AM True Targan - I hadn't thought about blocking a canal, just that it would be easier to blow a hole in a railway line than a canal.That's exactly right. If you are talking about actually damaging the infrastructure itself it would be much easier to blow up a section of railway or even just tear up a short length of rail than it would be to try to cave in a section of canal, that would be far more work. But scuttling a barge wouldn't be hard at all.

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Hangfire7 06-09-2008, 12:42 PM Here is one issue with canals and locks. Often the locks seperate two bodies of water that are higher and lower than one another. Would this cause one body of water to drain, not likely. But would it cause a surge downstream and causing flooding, boats to be tossed around or aground, cargos to be spilled and other chaos? Possibly.


Another issues, how does one get water to flood the lock if you are using pumps because you are going from a lower body of water to a higher?


And as for bad guys, yes pirates would work. But, also a small team of comandos, underwater and demolition types would work wonders planting limpet mines on the boats that were queing up to go through the lock and canals, think about it, stationary targets lined up waiting in a que, so they have no room to manuvuer, they just sit there. Easy targets for divers with mines.


Figure a platoon of such divers on civilian ships could clog the aproach to a lock or canal with sunk or sinking wrecks in a hard nights work.


As for the Canal in or around New York, would that be the Eirie canal?


And then there is the Illinios Sanitation Canal I think is the name in/around Chicago that allows goods to transit from the Great Lakes down Mississippi River and to the Gulf of Mexico. Think about this, that canal is closed or under hostile control, well the entire central United States is now closed from markets since goods can no longer get out unless it is overland. And that was one reason why Grant gained fame durring the American Civil War. The sec'seshionist forces had control of the Mississippi denying the farms in the midwest a means of getting their goods to market. So, US Grant had to take Vicksburg and the surrounding area to open the river and thus open trade.


It has been said throughout history, "He who controls the rivers control trade." And thus we have many of the older cities in the world built on rivers because they are natural transit routes.

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Poor Merchant 06-09-2008, 02:03 PM Hi,

Here's a useful UK link with some background on hauling capacity for horse (or man) hauled barges - anything from 45 to 90 tons or so. In the UK the government has been restoring canals for tourism - they have also been used for the laying of fibreoptic cables (I seem to recall from somewhere).


http://www.weyriver.co.uk/theriver/trans_3_barges.htm


And here is a UK link making the case for modern commercial canal use:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7067362.stm


A Canadian PDF which gives a good overview of modern large capacity barges:


http://www.mariport.com/pdf/Tug%20Barge%20Options.pdf


As I see something of a backward step, tech wise, in many ways after the Twilight War I also think that canals and river borne transport will come back in a big way.

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Targan 06-09-2008, 11:51 PM Another issues, how does one get water to flood the lock if you are using pumps because you are going from a lower body of water to a higher?You'd never need to use pumps. Gravity will always do the work for you, whichever direction you are travelling in.

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Hangfire7 06-10-2008, 01:41 AM You'd never need to use pumps. Gravity will always do the work for you, whichever direction you are travelling in.



But how do you control them? I saw the ones they used in the Panama Canal, the vents flood from the ground flooding the lock. Basic plumbing at work.


But, what if they are damaged? And of course how long does it take to fill the lock? Again damaged vents or even clogged intake vents.

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Targan 06-10-2008, 01:55 AM I see your point now. I doubt silting would be a problem, especially for larger canals as the water pressure would be immense. But valve damage or physical obstructions could indeed pose a real problem. You'd need trained clearance divers for that kind of work I'd imagine. Off the top of my head the easiest valves to make, fit and operate would be upright cylinders with a broad slot cut through them. Turn the cylinder 90 degrees and the valve is closed or open. Good and strong, the more pressure against them the more watertight they'd be, easy to operate. Have a bunch of them in a line and it would be easy to have them linked by lever arms or cogs and chains. Open and closed them with a winder geared to an easily manageable ratio for hand power.


For the Panama Canal? I have no idea. That is an engineering marvel and the locks are holding back the force of huge oceans. i'm sure we could find diagrams of how their locks work though. I've seen at least one documentary on the TV about how it was constructed but I don't remember the specifics of the locks. Those valves would obviously take some serious torque to operate.

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Neal5x5 06-10-2008, 08:34 AM While canals may be a viable option in Europe and the eastern US, in the western US they would be of limited viability. Most canals in the western US are not for transport of goods but the transport of water and aren't suitable for the mass transit of goods (too small).


Still, for personal or small goods transport, they could be effective provided the water craft was a raft or a canoe. In my youth, we'd go tubing for miles down the agricultural canals in Utah and Idaho.


Of course, in the western US and southwest you'd have to worry that there is water to fill the canals, which wasn't always the case.

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Hangfire7 06-10-2008, 12:01 PM Different parts of the SW US that is true. Some areas the canals for transporting water would be viable to a canoe, but, the water is pretty fast flowing which would make for a wild ride, and then how do you stop, and where do you stop?

Further post T2K it is doubtful they would have water in them. Even the water in the area say California few are more than a trickle. An example last summer I was working at the Headwater control station for the Los Angeles Basin and the L,A, river. Crossing the river in the vehicle wasn't that big a problem, since the water was a trickle so shallow you could get out and walk and the water would not be deeper than the sole of my boot. It was constant and it flowed, but very very shallow. There are only two water bodies in the LA area that I am aware of that flow in any form from their source to the sea. The Santa Anna river <my backyard> and the San Gabriel River which flowed from the park near the headwater I worked at last summer and it exited in the marina where I was living, I would regularly kayak up a portion of the river until they closed it off, and the odd sea lion would hunt the area as well.


I would also propose that many agricultural areas have canals, smaller than transit but they have them for irrigation purposes. An example, my home, behind the backyard there is a concrete trench about 6X6 that runs for several miles, this was when this area was covered in orange groves instead of houses. Included are a few remnants of pump houses and other such facilities used to pump the water from the river into the canal.


In Hawaii some of the other islands still have canals used for irrigation, Kuai they have turned them into kayaking and tubing routes for tourists.


In Oregon the family farm there has canals surrounding the plot of land and several others seperating the fields, these could be navigible via small boat, kayak or raft.


And then other channels near larger bodies of water that are used for irrigation or even industrial facilities would have networks of canals that could be used in a round about way for transportation and commerce.


And then we also have newly made canals in the T2K world using prisoners, slaves, refugees and POWs.

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Raellus 06-10-2008, 02:47 PM I run a Pirates of the Vistula PbP and, along the upper stretches of the river, there are quite a few locks. I found that deliberately destroyed and/or run-down locks are such an obstacle to river traffic that I basically just ignore them now and pretend they're not there. Blown locks could make long-distance river/canal travel dangerous if not impossible in some places.


Maintainance of canals could be a problem. It depends on the construction of the canal, though. Are they just fancy ditches or are they elaborate, concrete and brick lined affairs? With the former, you may have some silting after a couple of years of zero maintainance. Are there pumping and/or transfer stations or does nature and gravity do all the work? Damaged canal management devices could render some canals dry and others raging torrents spilling over their man-made banks.


I guess it all depends on the resources (labor, machinery, boats, etc.) available to make the canals viable transportation networks.

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Headquarters 06-11-2008, 12:20 AM Different parts of the SW US that is true. Some areas the canals for transporting water would be viable to a canoe, but, the water is pretty fast flowing which would make for a wild ride, and then how do you stop, and where do you stop?

Further post T2K it is doubtful they would have water in them. Even the water in the area say California few are more than a trickle. An example last summer I was working at the Headwater control station for the Los Angeles Basin and the L,A, river. Crossing the river in the vehicle wasn't that big a problem, since the water was a trickle so shallow you could get out and walk and the water would not be deeper than the sole of my boot. It was constant and it flowed, but very very shallow. There are only two water bodies in the LA area that I am aware of that flow in any form from their source to the sea. The Santa Anna river <my backyard> and the San Gabriel River which flowed from the park near the headwater I worked at last summer and it exited in the marina where I was living, I would regularly kayak up a portion of the river until they closed it off, and the odd sea lion would hunt the area as well.


I would also propose that many agricultural areas have canals, smaller than transit but they have them for irrigation purposes. An example, my home, behind the backyard there is a concrete trench about 6X6 that runs for several miles, this was when this area was covered in orange groves instead of houses. Included are a few remnants of pump houses and other such facilities used to pump the water from the river into the canal.


In Hawaii some of the other islands still have canals used for irrigation, Kuai they have turned them into kayaking and tubing routes for tourists.


In Oregon the family farm there has canals surrounding the plot of land and several others seperating the fields, these could be navigible via small boat, kayak or raft.


And then other channels near larger bodies of water that are used for irrigation or even industrial facilities would have networks of canals that could be used in a round about way for transportation and commerce.


And then we also have newly made canals in the T2K world using prisoners, slaves, refugees and POWs.



seem to have read somewheer that there is a sizeable channel running to /from Stockton in California ?

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Headquarters 06-11-2008, 12:32 AM Sabotaging -as many have pointed out- isnt that difficult ,locks,barges etc can be blown to destroy the canal as a route or block it .


But whatever your scenario - I was thinking reconstruction .It would seem that major canal projects have been undertaken for thousands of years - in 1718 the Russians linked the Baltic and the Caspian seas via canals ,lakes and rivers. With the existing infrastructure ,machinery and engineering as well as the new climate of contempt for basic human rights in the T2K world - canals would seem the very arteries of any aspiring evil warlords grandiose plans of Empire. Granted - it would take a very heavy organization to operate anything on the scale of the Baltic-Caspian link ,but something a dozen miles long ,maybe with a river or lake or two linked in and or leading to the sea would be a major step forward for the survivors -given that there is any goods to trade and anyone to buy/sell them.


Good missions though with the "blow ze locks before ze Amerikaner gets here you dumkopf!" or "I say ,where did I put that last limpet old boy" style commando raids.


useful link


http://www.clickart.fr/vev/uk/canaux.htm


and this one


http://www.britannica.com/eb/article...land-waterways

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