Redundant Capstan

There are three sets of lock gates on the main lock at Ballard.  If the two end sets are used, the full length of the lock is available.  However, if that isn’t needed, a middle set of gates can be used which reduces the amount of water displaced.  The gates are now moved by hydraulic rams.  That wasn’t always the case though.  Alongside each set of gates are some capstans.  Now preserved and serving only a decorative function, they are a reminder that things used to be a bit more manual.  The markings of the manufacturer are nicely maintained on the top of each capstan as a testament to companies long gone that used to make such engineering efforts.

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