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Lock Tales – Big Chute Marine Railway – Trent-Severn Waterway

December 15, 2019


My name is Chas McKie, I’m the acting lock master at Big Chute Marine Railway. Well the Big Chute Marine Railway is a special lock because it is quite unique, almost one of a kind. This Marine Railway, the one I’m used to and I’ve seen operate in my time was constructed in 1977 and opened in 1978. The Marine Railway has 3 different types of slings set ups. The most common one used is what we call the Triple Sling, and that would carry boats up to an 8 foot beam. The second set of slings is what we call a double and will carry up to a 12 foot beam. And finally the big one, the single sling, which is the combination of 2 double slings. Is to carry anything above that 12 foot. So as with every lock station, lock times can vary. Either it’s from operational control, how long everything takes, or how long perhaps the boater takes to bring its vessel in. So on average for the Big Chute Marine Railway, we can do about 15 minutes. It takes about 7 minutes to run up or down the hill, and hopefully with skilled boaters we can get to that mark. This is the 150th anniversary of Canada, we’ve expected quite an increase in volume due to the free lockages. I can tell you this year already, the boats have definitely arrived. We have on average about 120 boats per day, given weekend especially we’ve actually seen it up to 180 boats on a weekend. We expect to see that continue this year. We do appreciate the visit, just so you know it’s always sunny at the Big Chute so hope to see you again real soon.

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