Category: Main Line Photos
Our Waterway Routes narrowboat is passing through Worcester Bar as it leaves the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and enters the Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line at Gas Street Basin.
When first built the act of Parliament which authorised their construction required them to be separated by a bar and all good had to be transhipped across the bar. Eventually permission was granted for the channel to be constructed through the bar that we use today.
Having left Worcester Bar and Gas Street Basin, our Waterway Routes narrowboat is now leaving Broad Street Tunnel in Birmingham. Today this is more a large bridge than the tunnel it was in the past.
Cruising from Worcester Bar and Gas Street Basin through the centre of Birmingham towards Deep Cutting Junction and Old Turn Junction.
Euphrates, the Sherborne Wharf Trip Boat is moored between Broad Street Tunnel and Deep Cutting Junction in between trips .
Our Waterway Routes narrowboat is turning onto the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal which is generally considered to start at Deep Cutting Junction these days.
Historically, the section from Deep Cutting Junction to Farmers Bridge Junction (at the top of Farmers Bridge Locks) was built as the Newhall Branch of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN).
Deep Cutting Junction and Old Turn Junction are often considered as one junction where you can go four ways.
This side of the footbridge, with the signpost on the island, is Deep Cutting Junction where the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal to Fazeley Junction leaves behind the camera. The Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Main Line runs to Gas Street Basin and Worcester Bar to the left.
Moored between Old Turn Junction and Ladywood Junction, with Sheepcote Street Bridge in the background, are President and Kildare.
President is an historic steam powered narrowboat, with Kildare being the unpowered butty it usually pulls.
Cruising along the Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line towards Sheepcote Street Bridge.
Ladywood Junction is on the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN). We are looking along the BCN Main Line towards Old Turn Junction, with Wolverhampton behind the camera.
The Oozells Street Loop, the original route for the canal, leaves under the bridge to the the right and takes a longer route to Old Turn Junction, passing through Sherborne Wharf on its way there.
Looking towards Birmingham on a sunny afternoon. The lovely green corridor leads to St Vincent Street Bridge, with Ladywood Junction just beyond.
Monument Road Bridge carries Ladywood Middleway over the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Main Line.
The towpath bridge on the right crosses the entrance to Monument Lane Basin and this forms a handy winding point. Boats unable to turn or wind at Ladywood Junction, around 500m (¼ mile) nearer Birmingham, can turn here.
At Icknield Square Junction the Icknield Port Loop diverges to the left under the towpath bridge. This loop was the original route of the canal.
The bridge in the distance marks Rotton Park Junction which is at the other end of the Icknield Port Loop.
Cutting off the three loops (Oozells Street, Icknield Port, and Soho) the new Main Line is wide and straight with towpaths along both banks. It must have seemed like a motorway to the old boatmen.
We are looking towards Rotton Park Junction where the bridge crosses the canal. Icknield Square Junction is behind the camera.
Rotton Park Junction is a four-way junction with the waterways meeting at right angles.
We are looking along the main line towards Smethwick Junction and Wolverhampton, with Icknield Port Junction and Birmingham behind the camera.
The four-way signpost marks Rotton Park Junction.
The Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Main Line runs from Birmingham to Wolverhampton. The original route of the canal now forms the Icknield Port Loop and the Soho Loop which diverge at this junction.
The pier of a former railway bridge still stands in the middle of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Main Line.
The railway branch linked Harborne to the main railway lines into Birmingham and opened in 1874. Passenger services stopped in 1934, but freight traffic continued until 1963.
The large Lee Bridge spans the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Main Line at an angle.
The name plate on Lee Bridge also shows the date MSDDDXXVI, which is 1826.
Winson Green Bridge strides across the wide route of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Main Line, which includes towpaths along both sides.
Looking along the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Main Line towards Wolverhampton, with Birmingham behind the camera.
The finger sign on the left bank point along the Soho Loop which emerges from under the towpath bridge at Winson Green Junction.
The finger sign at Winson Green Junction identifies the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Main Line between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
At Winson Green Junction the Soho Loop, part of the original route of canal, leaves and rejoins at Rotton Park Junction.
Immediately on the Wolverhampton side of Winson Green Junction is a toll island. Now grass covered the island provides a channel each side just wide enough for a narrowboat to pass through.
As boats passed through the narrows the toll keepers measured their depth in the water and, using information from their records, could calculate the weight of the cargo and the appropriate toll to be paid.
This is the site of the former Cape Junction which, like Rotton Park Junction, had four routes.
The new route of the Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) runs from Birmingham (behind the camera) to Wolverhampton (ahead).
The main railway line between Birmingham and Wolverhampton follows a very similar route to the canal and they run very close for much or the journey. They swap sides twice along the route, with Avery Rail Bridge being on of those locations.
Between Birmingham and Wolverhampton the canal passes through a great variety of scenery, including modern residential developments and historical industrial settings.
At Smethwick Junction the Old and New Main Lines diverge. They rejoin into a single route at Factory Junction.
To the right is the original route of the canal, now known as the Old Main Line. It climbs almost immediately through three locks, then runs on that level to Wolverhampton.
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).
The photo is taken on the Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations with Wolverhampton behind the camera.
Straight ahead is the New Main Line towards Birmingham and diverging to the right is the Old Main Line to Birmingham.
The dark coloured edge to the towpath on the outside of the curve marks the site of the former Bloomfield Junction. A large loop once diverged to the right and wandered for more than eight kilometers (five miles) around the landscape before rejoining the current route just over two kilometers (one and a quarter miles) further on at Deepfields Junction.
Travelling through the Black Country the wonderful green landscapes may surprise some people.
As the canal approaches Coseley Tunnel the land level gradually rises each side of the route and the bridge linking the two sides is rather taller than usual.
South Coseley Bridge has a pipe bridge over the top as the canal enters the gradually deepening cutting towards Coseley Tunnel.
The gradually deepening cutting leads to Coseley Tunnel. It was the construction of this tunnel that provided a more direct route between Bloomfield Junction and Deepfields Junction than the former Wednesbury Oak Loop.
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.