Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Sunday, 5 June 2011

West Stockwith to Keadby

We left West Stockwith lock at high tide at 11.15am. It was sunny and warm making a very pleasant run down the River Trent to Keadby lock, we were there by 1pm. The Lock Keeper was having lunch and we hadn't been able to contact him on the radio,but we got into the lock very neatly all by ourselves, tied up and Ian went looking for him.
Just out of West Stockwith we passed the junction with the River Idle.
On the way to Keadby we passed under the M180.
The River Trent is wide and not many bridges cross it, the tide was carrying us out so we were travelling about 7-8 mph, much faster that our usual 3-4 mph on the canals.
At Kelfield the river makes a sharp turn and the water was churning making waves. The navigation chart has it labelled as the Kelfield boil.    
As we approach Keadby, the rail bridge crosses the river, the section to the right is a lift bridge to allow tall boats through.
Just below the rail bridge this ship was unloading scrap metal at Gunness Wharf.
Keadby Lock, the entrance to the Stainforth and Keadby Canal.  We made a smooth entry by going past the lock, turning and going against the tide to turn into the lock. 
Once we had located the lock keeper, the lock was filled and we we able to make our way out. But not very far as the first of many swing bridges on this canal had to be opened, this one by the lock keeper.
One of the tall sailed keels that used to work along this waterway and the river Trent.
The next bridge to negotiate is the  Vazon Sliding Railway Bridge. We even saw a couple of trains cross over as we approached. This goods train and then a short passenger train going in the opposite direction.
As we approached the bridge it slid slowly aside to allow us through, another narrowboat was the other side waiting too.
It was rather intriguing so we stopped to have a closer look and take some more photos.
The bridge closed, with the rail track in place.

The rails that the bridge slides back on to open the bridge.

The signal box where we met Ellis the signalman who showed us his 'office'. Boats have right of way over the trains, so from here he controls the signals to stop the trains and slide the bridge open when there are boats coming through.  It is accepted practice to toot your horn on approaching the bridge, it is operational 24 hrs a day.
Another 5 swing bridges (some manual, some electronic) and then were moored up for the night in a quiet spot away from the railway line.


1 comment:

  1. How refrshing to find trains having to give way to boats :)