|Ship 'Volga-Don 101' enters the first lock of the canal.|
It was built in the 1950’s, but apart from the Russian it looked much like I would expect such a facility anywhere in Europe. Charts showed which ships were entering and leaving locks right across the 100km channel linking the Volga and Don rivers. A cross section also showed the lock system, nine locks lifting ships up 88metres from the Volga and another four lowering them 44 metres down to the Don on the other side. Three powerful pumping stations bring water up from the Don to maintain the water level. Phones kept ringing for the ‘dispatchers’. They would give permission for ships to enter and leave locks and for the water levels to be changed.
|The controls may be modernised, but the lock systems are the same as they|
were in the fifties.
|Alkensandr Naumov says they have problems these days with one of the things|
you need most in a canal, water.
If you can put aside the cost, this is at least an engineering achievement the Soviets and now the Russians can be proud of. All they need now is the water to run it.