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Harecastle tunnel closed 23 May

Arthur Marshall

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8 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

Tunnel closed this afternoon due to low water levels. Tunnel bloke said level was down 4 inches when I came through this morning - some boats seemed to be having trouble getting in from the north end.

I was fully expecting this when the supplies to the Macc were compromised. Its just a question of time before the top of the T&M closes then?

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1 hour ago, AndrewIC said:

CRT also still reporting low water between 54 and 57 as well


I suspect that refilling that length after the paddles being left open is what has pulled the summit level down.


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10 minutes ago, billh said:

That implies little or no feed from Rudyard Lake via the Leek branch of the Caldon. Has Rudyard been emptied for safety reasons as well?

Bosley reservoir is already low. The draw from Rudyard has to be carefully controlled and limited due to the other interests on the lake.  The troubles are only just beginning.


AND ITS NOT SUMMER YET!  Wake up Canal and River Trust!

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13 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

I thought the Caldon was closed with a breach

Caldron is still closed from Etruria to Ivy House Embankment. Are they pumping any water around the closure?


The Cheshire Flight was bad late last summer - plenty of water coming down Bosley (apart from when someone came up just the bottom lock to wind), then scraping the bottom on the T&M summit and many of the pounds down towards Middlewich. I think the tunnel was closed a couple of days then as well.

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51 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

........... AND ITS NOT SUMMER YET!  Wake up Canal and River Trust!

"If the supply to Red Bull and the tunnel from the Macclesfield fails then the most popular cruising rings in the North West will be unusable.......till 2024? Shameful way to run a system.

I suppose they will erect multiple blue signs saying the canals are closed, that will fix it."


Blue signs coming soon!

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It does make a boating holiday interesting - never being quite sure if you'll get home again. Or how. The hire fleets must love it - not only their boats getting sunk by drunks but stranded by CRTs lack of maintenance and forethought.

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1 minute ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

Might be stating the obvious a bit here, but haven't we been a bit short of rain in recent months? Perhaps we need to get used to the idea of dry canals a bit more.

That is true but the basic problem is reservoirs that are either out of use, no longer owned by the canal or simply don't hold the water they should because they have not been  maintained for decades.

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First time that some boats can get through Harecastle without unbolting and unloading rooves and they close it . How incredibly inconsiderate. 😉


How deep is the water in tunnels such as Harecastle? Presumably very deep for working boats to transit loaded, wouldnt silt generally be less likely to stay on the bottom or drift deep into tunnels depending on canal flow  with boating activity compared to other parts of the navigation? 

Edited by Stroudwater1
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Its not as deep as it should be. There is debris in the water. I have scraped the bottom going in the north end once. There are bricks knocked out of the roof in places, we used to find some still on the front decks of boats when they got back to base and the roof corners told the tale.

The shape of the bore has changed substantially over the years, it has not just sunk in the middle without changing its cross section.

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