Germany » Dortmund-Ems-Kanal | Germany

Dortmund-Ems-Kanal / Connects the Ruhr area with the North Sea.


Dortmund-Ems-Kanal | Germany: Characteristics & Overview

Rating of waterway

Length of waterway: 233 km
Number of locks: 17
Lock dimensions: 85.00 x 9.50
Max. depth: 2.50
Max. headroom: 4.25
Degree of difficulty: Demanding
Requirements: Boating license essential
Character of waterway: no rating
Profile of waterway: Main waterway
Facilities groundside: Sufficiant

Weitere Informationen

Waterway has access to:

Ems und Ems-Vechte-Kanal | Germany
Mittellandkanal | Germany
Rhine River | Germany
Ruhrgebiet - Wasserstrassen / Ruhr basin Waterways | Germany
North Sea

Dortmund-Ems-Kanal / Connects the Ruhr area with the North Sea.
It begins as a branch canal in Dortmund and collects the Rhein-Herne-Kanal, the Datteln-Halm-Kanal, and the Wesen-Datteln-Kanal as it flows northwards. On its southerly stretch it crosses the rivers Lippe, Stever and Ems on imposing canal bridges. Long stretches of its northern section it makes use of the natural riverbed of the Ems. At Pappenburg the canal flows into the Ems. Although this canal is heavily used by big vessels, it can be highly recommended for leisure boating.

From Dortmund
the canal goes northwards for the first 15 km until Datteln, where it meets first the Rhein-Herne-Kanal and soon afterwards the Datteln-Hamm- and the Wesel-Datteln-Kanal. From the get together with Rhein-Herne-Kanal, it runs parallet to the Ems and finally, after 200 km, flows into it at Papenburg.

It plays an important role
as centerpiece between the Rhine and the Mittellandkanal, which is the most important east-west connection.
The entire construction of the canal system of the Ruhr district was done around 1900. The circumstances here were very different to the rest of Europe. While canals in France, England, Belgium and Italy felt the competition to the railways, these canals were built, because the railway couldn’t offer enough transport capacity.
The transportation volumes of today show how correct this decision was!

The most interesting construction is right at the beginning of the canal, by km 10 at Waltrop, it is the old ship lift of Henrichenburg, in the "Schleusenpark" Waltrop.

Barges entered a trough in the size of "normal" Dortmund-Ems vessels, 68 m x 8.6 m and a depth of 2.5 m. This trough sat on five floaters filled with air, which plunged themselves in water filled wells. The barges eliminated in the trough the amount of water corresponding to its weight. It therefore didn’t matter whether there was a barge in it or not, it always had the same weight. The actual lifting and dropping was done by changing the water level in the wells and took, with entering and leaving of the vessels, 2 x 12.5 min.