Falkirk Wheel to get its annual MoT

Maintenance at The Falkirk Wheel. PHOTO: SCOTTISH CANALS

THE Falkirk Wheel is set to be drained of water as annual maintenance works get underway to ensure the world’s only rotating boat lift keeps on turning in 2018.

The works, which will run from February 5 until March 7, will see Scottish Canals’ engineering team carry out a programme of inspections, maintenance and replacements covering everything from the structure’s mechanical and electrical systems to its surrounding infrastructure.

Richard Millar, Director of Infrastructure at Scottish Canals, said: “The Falkirk Wheel is an incredible and unique feat of engineering as well as one of Scotland’s top tourism attractions and it’s essential we carry out regular maintenance to ensure it continues to operate safely for many years to come.

“Throughout February, our team will be inspecting, repairing and replacing many of the thousands of individual components that make up this amazing fusion of art and engineering, from the tiny nuts and bolts of its electric motors to the gates of its gigantic gondolas. It’s an epic undertaking that will ensure the world’s only rotating boat lift is ready to offer a revolutionary experience to visitors from all over the world come March.”

The project will involve The Wheel being drained of water so the teams can inspect each of its thousands of mechanical parts, many of which are bespoke. The basin and aqueduct will also be drained to allow further inspection of the supporting infrastructure, such as the pumps and sluices, and dredging along their length. Boat trips will recommence at The Falkirk Wheel on Wednesday March 7.

For more information on the maintenance and winter opening hours, see visit www.thefalkirkwheel.co.uk.