Poland » Elblaski Canal | Oberländer Kanal (Oberländischer Kanal) | Kanal Ilawa | Poland

The waterway with aslope levels

Elblaski Canal | Oberländer Kanal (Oberländischer Kanal) | Kanal Ilawa | Poland: Characteristics & Overview

Rating of waterway

Length of waterway: 80 km
Number of locks: 9
Lock dimensions: 24.50 x 3.00
Max. depth: 1.20
Max. headroom: 2.80
Degree of difficulty: Demanding
Requirements: Boating license essential
Character of waterway: old waterway, to be rediscovered
Profile of waterway: Used by tourists only
Facilities groundside: Sufficiant

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Waterway has access to:

River Nogat & Vistula Elblaski | Poland
Baltic Sea

Canal Elblaski or Oberländer-Kanal is actually a general term for the following waterways (north to south):

has a length of 15.5 km and flows out of Jezoria (lake) Druzna and goes into Zale Wislany (Vistula Lagoon). On its way, it crosses the town of
Elblag, which gave the canals name.

At Jez, Druzna, the real Canal Elblaski with its world famous inclined levels starts. After them one gets onto the lakes of Pinlewa, Sambröd and Ruda Wode, on whose south end lays Milomlyn.

Here, Canal Ilawa turns off to the west; it has a connection to the lakes north of the town of
Ilawa. The distance Milomlyn – Ilawa is 32 km; hydrofoils are used for passenger transports. The canal has no locks.

However, if one continues at Milomlyn to the south, one gets again onto the Canal Ostroda – Elblag and reaches over 2 locks first the Jez. Drweckie and therewith the town of Ostroda.

From there, a canal of 16 km leads to the
lake of Szelag and the small town of Jablonski. 

The “Declined Levels” or an ingenious alternative to locks
The declined levels of Oberland-Kanal were constructed in the 19th century by Georg Sterke, Prussian government building officer and engineer. His “boat train” managed to overcome a vertical height of almost 100 metres. This means, boats are forwarded on transportation wagons which operate on tracks. 
This system has some similarity to old inclines. It gets its drive over a paddle, which activates with gears a rope drum. With this rope, which is at both ends diverted over big drums, the wagons including the boats are pulled up or left down. The second wagon, driving on a neighbour track, serves as a counterweight.