East Portal - Tunnel de Mauvages - Canal de la Marne au Rhin (ouest) - France
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ntpayne
N 48° 35.293 E 005° 33.265
31U E 688364 N 5384832
Quick Description: This is the eastern portal of the tunnel de Mauvages on the canal de la Marne au Rhin (ouest).
Location: Grand-Est, France
Date Posted: 11/23/2021 2:52:01 AM
Waymark Code: WM15AJ3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
Views: 0

Long Description:
This is the eastern portal of the tunnel de Mauvages on the canal de la Marne au Rhin (ouest). The tunnel is 4.785 kilometres in length and is one way controlled by traffic lights and is lit throughout. An éclusier cycles alongside the boat in case of emergency. Until a few years ago boats were towed through by an electric tug and the overhead trolleybus-type wires can still be seen.


The following information about the 313km long Canal de la Marne au Rhin is taken from French-waterways.com:

The Canal de la Marne au Rhin was completed in 1855 as a vital link between Paris and Alsace and Germany. It presents diverse landscapes but is consistently delightful along its full length. Waterways author Hugh McKnight rightly judges that the length from Niderviller PK 245 to Saverne PK 269 contains all that is best on the French waterways: the softly rounded countryside of Lorraine, then steep-sided wooded valleys, picturesque Alsatian villages, plus two tunnels and the unique Arzviller inclined plane. The canal passes through the historic towns of Bar-le-Duc, Toul and Nancy, and finishes in style just beyond the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

This was the longest canal in France (313km) until 1979, when a 23km section along the Moselle valley was closed following completion of the Moselle canalisation works between Frouard and Neuves-Maisons. The route from the junction with the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne and the Canal latéral à la Marne at Vitry-le-François to the port of Strasbourg on the Rhine is now made up as follows:

131km Western Section (97 locks)
Canal de la Marne au Rhin, western section (PK 0-131), connecting with the Canal de la Meuse at Troussey (PK 111), and with a short branch to Houdelaincourt (PK 85)

25km Moselle River (3 locks)
The canalised river Moselle, entered through a new lock, from Toul to Frouard (a distance of 25km, slightly longer than by the original canal),

149km Eastern Section (56 locks)
Canal de la Marne au Rhin, eastern section, from Frouard to Strasbourg (PK 154-313); this section makes connections with the Nancy branch of the Canal des Vosges at Laneuveville-devant-Nancy (PK 169) and with the Canal de la Sarre at Gondrexange (PK 228).

The western section in particular is now very peaceful. The pretty eastern section has several hire boat bases, justifiably popular.

The canal has two summit levels, the Mauvages summit (altitude 281m) between the Marne and the Meuse, and the Vosges summit (267m) between the Meurthe and the Rhine. The first includes the Mauvages tunnel, 4877m in length, while the second has two tunnels within a short distance at its eastern end, Niderwiller (475m) and Arzviller (2307m). There is a fourth tunnel at Foug (867m), cutting through the low watershed between the Meuse and Moselle valleys.

There was another tunnel 388m long at Liverdun, on the section now bypassed by the canalised Moselle.

There is an obligatory towage service at Mauvages. The times of the tows are 0915 and 1330 eastbound from Demange and 1115 and 1530 westbound from Mauvages. The other three tunnels are ventilated and all craft proceed under their own power when the green light is shown. On entering Foug tunnel from the western end there is a pole to be pushed forwards for 5 to 10 seconds, to inform the tunnel-keeper at lock 14.

History – This canal was built concurrently with the railway line and by the same administration, from 1839 to 1855. Their course is parallel, with characteristic S-bends under railway bridges, especially in the descent through the Vosges. The locks were built to dimensions half way between the Becquey and Freycinet standards (34.50 by 5.20m, and sill depth of 1.80m). German occupation of Alsace in 1871 then also prompted construction of the Canal de l’Est (now the Canal des Vosges) south from Nancy to connect with the River Saône.

The Marne au Rhin was deepened twice, first to 2.20m (for 1.80m draught) at the end of the 19th century, then to 2.50m (for 2.20m draught) in the 1960s, but only through the section east of Nancy. At the same time, the terminal locks leading to the summit level were replaced, west of the Vosges, by the deepest Freycinet lock (Réchicourt), and towards Alsace by the inclined plane of Saint-Louis-Arzviller, a unique feat of engineering, overcoming a 44.55m difference in level.
Is the Tunnel in Use?: In Use

Which End is this Entrance?: East

Date Constructed: 1/1/1855

Length of Tunnel: 4785 metres

Construction Material: Rock, lined with stone and concrete

Associated Website: [Web Link]

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