Yes, that’s what it is! Believe it or not. This seems, to me anyway, as the greatest insult you can give to a canal that is sadly terminally ill. Well, maybe it’s passed the ill stage by now and we can probably, officially confirm its death. We all know that the railway brought about the closure of many of the canals. But to build the railway line through this canal lock chamber seems a step too far. Locks are the hart of a canal, the levels (pounds) are the arteries.
The railway has become a living beast, no longer is it just steel and noisy diesel. Now it’s alive and it has resolved to confirm its victory over the canal. A track through the lock chamber, like a blade through the very aorta of the canal.
Okay I know it’s not the intercity express! It’s just a narrow gauge railway bringing turf (peat) to the nearby electricity power station in Shannon Bridge. But this sight at Kylemore Lock on the now derelict Ballinasloe Canal is a sad sight indeed. Much of the original lock chamber is still perfectly intact, in fact, the gates are still reasonably complete. Although nature is claiming them back and soon there will be very little left of them. I think they may have been made of oak, but it’s hard to tell. Let me know if you have any information on them, please.
This canal was closed to boat traffic in 1961, which isn’t that long ago really. However, since then the bog has claimed much of it back. The narrow gauge