Thursday, 3 August 2017

Worcester and Birmingham Canal

Of the several canals which radiate from Birmingham City Centre, the Worcester and Birmingham Canal is probably the nicest.
It runs Southwards from Gas Street Basin in the general direction of Redditch.
From Derby a train will whisk you to Birmingham in less than 45 minutes at the cost of a few pounds, depositing you and your bike at the re-furbished New Street station which is close by the local canal system.

Accommodation for bikes on trains is often rather poor, but no complaints on this Cross Country train.
But firstly, take a look at the new New Street station. Once a dark hole in the ground, it is now a much brighter and smarter hole in the ground.

The polished and highly reflective fascia gives interesting images of the buildings opposite.

Above, on the streets of Birmingham, are some striking modern buildings, many still under construction.

Plenty of work for window cleaners here.

 Here is Gas Street Basin, junction of the canal system and a wonderful juxtaposition of ancient and modern buildings.

Looking back the opposite way.

Turning right at Salvage Turn Bridge, we are now heading in the right direction.

The towpath has an excellent hard surface all the way.

Entering Egbaston Tunnel.

Due to the limitations of the locks, this boat is the maximum size allowed on the narrow canals system, being 7 ft wide and 72 ft long.
With the rudder and the skipper at the stern, it must take a bit of practice to steer such a vessel.
The Canal and River Trust are seen here dredging the canal. The multitasking driver is not only operating the hydraulic arm, but driving the boat (backwards).

Following is a large barge to carry away the spoil.

This is the Ariel Aquaduct, opened in 2011, which carries the canal over the main road in Selly Oak. It's name commemorates the Ariel motor cycle factory which once stood nearby. The factory closed in 1970.

The concrete bridge carries the railway, which runs alongside the canal for a few miles.

A nice outlook for these modern houses.

This is Bournville Station. Chocaholics alight here for Cadbury's World.

Interesting laser cut tracery on this lamp standard, showing the railway alongside the canal.

As we approach Pershore Road the canal runs alongside the highway.

As we reach Kings Norton the canal enters Wast Hills Tunnel which is about 1.5 miles long and has no towpath. We leave the waterside up this steep path, and this is as far as we go on this ride, so best to turn round and return to Birmingham along the towpath.
The ride distance is a little over six miles each way.

1 comment:

  1. Not a folder this time? And what distance the journey?