Category: Birmingham Cnl Navs (BCN) Photos
Coseley Tunnel was built wide enough for two narrowboats to pass with towpaths along both sides.
The steps lead up to a good vantage point from above the tunnel mouth. Unfortunately the brick wall there provides great hiding place for stone throwing vandals.
Emerging from Coseley Tunnel on a bright day the straightened route disappears into the distance, cutting over six kilometers (four miles) from the original route along the Wednesbury Oak Loop.
The north portal of Coseley Tunnel looks rather bare after clearance of the vegetation shortly before this photo was taken, but it will soon regrown.
Coseley Tunnel is 329m (360 yards) long, with passage taking around four minutes.
Anchor Bridge is at the Wolverhampton end of the straightened route through Coseley Tunnel, with Deepfields Junction just beyond the bridge.
Approaching Deepfields Junction, looking along the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Main Line towards Wolverhampton, with Birmingham behind the camera.
Leaving under the towpath bridge on the right is the Bradley Arm, which is the name usually given to the remaining open length of the Wednesbury Oak Loop.
The New Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations runs straight past Deepfields Junction between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
Once a complete loop, known as the Wednesdbury Oak Loop, the remaining arm, often referred to as the Bradley Arm now only goes as far as Bradley Workshops.
Looking along the Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations on a gloomy morning towards Deepfields Junction. Birmingham is straight ahead, with Wolverhampton behind the camera.
Diverging under the towpath bridge on the left is the Bradley Arm, as the remaining length of the largely abandoned Wednesbury Oak Look is now called.
Nesting time in the spring when the two swan parents take it in turns to sit on the nest. They are on the offside of the canal and din’t seem bothered in any way by passing boats.
Spring Vale Rail Bridge carries the railway line between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton over the canal. The railway line stays close the the canal for most of that route as they both aim for a route which is as level as practicable.
Canal Voyagers Hotel Boats, with motor boat Snipe towing un‑powered butty Taurus as they take their guests around the canal system.
Jibbet Lane Bridge has been repaired using modern brickwork in a different colour. This is a common practice when repairing old structures when it may be impracticable or uneconomic to repair using identical materials and this makes it clear which is the new brickwork which is not trying to imitate the old.
There are several sections of route then there are more industrial than residential buildings but they are frequently surrounded by established natural vegetation and rarely impose on the canal.
Catchems Corner Bridge does exactly what it says on the name plate.
The sharp corner immediately on the Wolverhampton side of this bridge makes the approach blind and catches out boaters who aren’t paying attention when they meet a boat coming the other way.
Horseley Fields Junction is where the Wyrley & Essington Canal diverges to the right under the towpath and railway bridge.
The Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Main Line continues straight ahead through Wolverhampton to Aldersley Junction, with Birmingham behind the camera.
The Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations passes Horseley Fields Junction on its way between Birmingham and Aldersley Junction in Wolverhampton.
Branching off is the Wyrley and Essington Canal on its way to Ogley Junction vi Catshill Junction.
Close to the centre of Wolverhampton the canal passes a mixture of modern build flats and old warehouses which have been converted into flats.
Almost a long bridge, this is Wolverhampton Tunnel which provides no restriction to navigation as two boats can pass just as easily in the tunnel as outside.
110424-162311 – SO 91810 98939 – BCN-ML 21-650
There are several mooring spaces above Wolverhampton Top Lock, frequently used by boaters the night before descending the Wolverhampton 21 Locks, or immediately after ascending them.
Wolverhampton Top Lock 1 is a welcome sight for those who have just ascended the 21 locks of the Wolverhampton flight.
The locks on the Wolverhampton Flight are sensibly spaced so they are in easy walking distance for the crew, but far enough apart that boats can pass easily in the pound.
Our Waterway Routes narrowboat descending Lock 6 on teh Wolverhampton Flight.
Despite being close to the centre of Wolverhampton the canal forms a lovely green route to or from the city.
Many of the locks in the Wolverhampton Flight have bridges across the tail of the lock. This is Lock 10.
The Wolverhampton Flight is crossed by four times by railway lines, sometimes on low bridges like this and sometimes on much more impressive viaducts.
Many boaters have a photo similar to this in their blog or personal photo collection.
This is the main line between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury, which is electrified for a short distance between…
Except for Lock 20, all the locks in the Wolverhampton Flight have double bottom gates, and they all have single top gates.
Lock 20 on the Wolverhampton Flight has single gates at both ends, with all the other locks having double gates at the bottom end.
The flight was originally built with twenty locks, with the bottom lock being deeper than the others. Later…
There’s an interesting bulge in the towpath between locks 20 and 21 on the Wolverhampton Flight. It appears to be deliberately shaped that way.
It possible this was introduced when boats were pulled by horses when the tow rope would tend to…
Wolverhampton Bottom Lock 21 marks the end of the Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN).
We’re looking at Aldersley Junction from the end of the Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN).
The Staffs & Worcester Canal passes across the picture from Stourport on the left to Great Haywood Junction on the right.
The signpost at Smethwick Junction marks the three way junction.
To the left is the main line to Birmingham. Straight on is the New Main Line to Wolverhampton and diverging is the Old Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN).
Looking along the New Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) towards Birmingham. The almost invisible Smethwick Junction is just before the nearest bridge where the Old Main Line merges from the left.
Toll islands are a feature of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN). As the boats passed through the narrows the toll collector would use a marked stick to check the depth of the boat in the water to see
The Engine Arm Aqueduct carries the Engine Arm over the New Main LIne of the Birmingham Canal Navigations.
Brasshouse Lane Bridge is a substantial modern structure where the metal girder suggests it has been widened since originally built as a brick arched structure. This is a handy crossing point
A bright April day shows Brasshouse Lane Pumping station in a great light. The Old Main Line runs to the right of the building after climbing through three locks from Smethwick Junction so it is 6.10m (20 feet) higher.
Galton Tunnel would not be recognised by the old canal builders as it’s a modern addition. Arched concrete segments were placed over the canal before being covered by earth to form the base for a modern road scheme.
As boaters leave Galton Tunnel they find Galton Bridge striding high above the canal, with the railway bridge in the background.
The New Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations is wide and straight and must have seemed like a motorway to the old boatmen. Built with towpaths along both banks, although only one is maintained today, this allowed boats to pass each other without slowing down at all.
Where the New Main Line has been dug into the cutting the straight route allows multiple bridges to be seen in the distance.
The straight route of the New Main Line disappears into the distance through two single arched bridges first.
The Steward Aqueduct, sometimes called the Stewart Aqueduct, is a twin arched structure which carries the Old Main Line over the New Main Line. The Old Main Line was the original route and it runs three locks higher.
Approaching Bromford Junction, looking towards Wolverhampton.
The New Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (bcn) passes Bromford Junction as it provides one of the routes between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
At Bromford Junction, looking along the New Main Line towards Birmingham.
It’s rather unusual to see the toll island, and the left hand bank, clear of vegetation. They are frequently covered with overgrown vegetation. Bromford Junction is just
The lattice structure makes for a lightweight bridge, probably added sometime after the canal was built as the style isn’t typical of other bridges which were added
Most of the New Main Line’s route between Smethwick Junction and Factory Junction is wide and straight. Between Bromford Junction and Pudding Green Junction it adopts the
Approaching Pudding Green Junction where the New Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) continues straight ahead towards Factory Junction and Wolverhampton. Turning right under the
Pudding Green Junction lies on the New Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
Looking along the New Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations towards Birmingham. Emerging from under the bridge on the left is the Wednesbury Old Canal at
To the west of Pudding Green Junction the New Main Line has several flat topped bridges, such as Albion Bridge. The next bridge, just visible in the
The New Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) is wide and straight. At this point it is generally at the natural ground level. Further ahead
The railway line between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton follows stays close to the canal for most of its route as they both aim to find a
There are several ideas about why Union Furnace Bridge has the phrase “Tojo the Dwarf” painted on it but none stand out as the likely explanation. Suggestions
Looking towards Wolverhampton along the New Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) at Albion Junction. Turning left under the towpath bridge on the left at
The New Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations passes Albion Junction between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
Looking along the New Mail Line from Albion Junction towards Wolverhampton. Toll islands appear near junctions at several locations around the Birmingham Canal Navigations enabling the draught
The railway builders chose the same straight and level route for the line between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton. The New Main Line of the Birmingham Canal
The bridge allowed horses to cross from the right hand towpath at Dudley Port Junction. Next to the bridge the Netherton Tunnel Branch turns to the left
We are looking down the Netherton Tunnel Branch on its way to Netherton Tunnel.
On the Wolverhampton side of Dudley Port Junction the New Main Line is raised on an embankment. There are several narrows in the channel which each mark
The last of the long straight sections on the New Main Line when heading towards Wolverhampton (or the first when heading towards Birmingham). Just out of sight
Factory Bottom Lock 3 has a wide footbridge across the tail of the lock to carry a public right of way. This is the lowest of the three
Out Waterway Routes narrowboat is entering Factory Lock 2, the middle of the three Factory Locks. As with many of the locks on the Birmingham Canal Navigations it
Three Factory Locks are in easy walking distance for the crew to walk between them. They raise the New Main Line up to meet the Old Main
Looking back from our boat as it is entering Factory Top Lock we see Factory Junction between the two bridges. Joining from the left between the bridges
The photo is taken on the Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations with Wolverhampton behind the camera.
The signpost at Smethwick Junction marks the three way junction.
Looking along the Old Main Line towards Smethwick Junction where it merges with the New Main Line to form the Main Line towards Birmingham.
Cruising between Smethwick Bottom Lock and Smethwick Middle Lock.
Adjacent to Smethwick Top Lock is a reconstruction of the Lock Keeper’s Office in the traditional octagonal style of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN).
A photo taken in the top lock at Smethwick looking along the Old Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations towards Wolverhampton, with Birmingham behind the camera.
The chimney marks the location of Brasshouse Lane Pumping station which sits between the Old Main Line and the New Main Line which is in a cutting to the right of the photo.
Summit Tunnel wouldn’t be recognised by the old canal builders as it’s a modern addition, built to carry a new road across the canal.
Summit Tunnel is a modern construction made from cast concrete segments which provide an unusual shape.
Summit Rail Bridge, in the foreground, then Summit Bridge, in the middle, both stride across the full width of the canal without interrupting boat movements.
The summit level of the Old Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) passes through a cutting.
The M5 motorway strides over the Old Main Line in several locations as it threads its way through Birmingham.
There are several stretches of the Old Main Line when the M5 Motorway provides a roof over the canal. Handy to keep the rain off, or provide shade on hot summer days.
Almost hidden under the M5 Motorway is Spon Lane Junction where the widened channel allows full length boats to turn.
Spon Lane Junction is where the Spon Lane Branch diverges from the Old Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations.
Looking towards Spon Lane Junction from the Wolverhampton side, the M5 Motorway bridges provide a roof over the canal.
The slightly narrowed channel with the railing each side marks the Steward (or Stewart) Aqueduct which carries the Old Main Line over the New Main Line just before the railway bridge.
Looking towards Birmingham from the aqueduct which carries the Old Main Line over the New Main Line. The straight channel of the New Main Line forms a contrast to the twisting route of the Old Main Line we are on.
Looking from Old Main Line on the Steward (or Stewart) Aqueduct towards Wolverhampton.
I wonder how many people driving along the M5 Motorway overhead realise the Old Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) is underneath.
Providing a contrast in building styles and techniques.
The traditional Blakeley Hall Bridge would have stretched the canal builders skills to construct a bridge which straddles
The motorway strides straight into the distance where the Old Main Line continues to wander around the landscape, challenging the motorway builders to position their piers carefully around the canal.
Look carefully just before the footbridge and you can just see the break in the left hand edge of the canal where the Titford Canal diverges to the left at Oldbury Locks Junction.
The Old Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations passes Oldbury Junction on its route from Birmingham to Wolverhampton.
Looking from the Wolverhampton Side, Oldbury Locks Junction hides under the motorway bridges and is marked by the gap in the right hand towpath where the Titford Canal heads towards Oldbury Locks.
Now mostly filled in the Former Chemical Arm is one of many around the BCN that allowed access directly to factories and works for the loading and unloading of boats.
The views from the canal will have changed many times during their lifetime. Originally serving factories and works making noises and belching smoke next to the canal along both sides.
At Brades Hall Junction the Old Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) runs from Birmingham (behind the camera) to Wolverhampton (straight ahead).
Looking from the Wolverhampton side, the location of Brades Hall Junction only becomes obvious at the last moment when the entrance to the Gower Branch appears under the towpath bridge.
Fisher’s Bridge is one of several along the Old Main Line which now has a flat span where the original bridge, probably a traditional arched style, has been replaced to meet the requirements of modern road traffic.
Another example of a flat topped bridge along the Old Main Line.
Passing through the Black Country there are sections of the Old Main Line which form a surprisingly green corridor, well separated from industrial and residential buildings.