88 From River to River

From River to River

Posted on December 7, 2007 by

Russian river ferry that moves ships! 1

We had already a Russian on-ground ferry that helps some passenger cars to pass the hardest parts of Russian roads.

This is also an on-ground ferry but for some completely different purpose. It helps the big river boats to cross the big dam on their way by... putting the big river boat on some sort of a train and transfer it a few miles on ground. Look down for the pictures, personally I was fascinated with such an approach!

Across the network:


Russian river ferry that moves ships! 2

Russian river ferry that moves ships! 3


Across the network:

88 Responses to “From River to River”

  1. Pyro says:

    Wow. That is utterly awesome.
    The only other motorized ship lifting system I know of is one here in Britain but that was much smaller and was shut down at the beginning of the century.

    Where about in Russia is this?

  2. Kevin says:

    Same kind of thing in france (phalsbourg) only in much smaller: http://www.plan-incline.com/gallery/photos.html

  3. Secret Communist Cell says:

    Superb piece of engineering! ! ! ! !.Soviets did every thing for their peoples and mother land,with their best.i wish they be back for the good of all humanity.

    • Kubz says:

      actually, there are communist parties (official program) democratically elected in europe. It has been in Italy i think.
      I can imagime a private company in our capitalistic part of the world, which could afford such a monster machine. Well, in the ability of achieving these goals were old russia quite effective.

      • Visitor says:

        I also can imagine a private company affording such a monster machine. Or, at least a publicly traded company, but still not owned and/or operated by a bunch of money-grubbing lazy bureaucrats. :)

        Have you ever watched an offshore oil or gas exploration platform moved from where it was built to where it will operate?

    • D says:

      Communism is working in practice in China.

      • Visitor says:

        D, this is not directed at you personally, but you raise an interesting issue:

        Communism “works” as well as it does in China now only because capitalist markets consume their products, and capitalist entrepreneurs helped them restructure their production capabilities.

        Travel through the airports in Shanghai or Beijing and fight your way through the army of expat “advisors” from capitalist countries who are getting rich in China, and you will see how “communism” really works in there.

        About the only communist parts left are the “police state” mentality toward freedom of speech and other individual liberties, and the fact that the “worker’s representatives” at the top of the Party hierarchy are pillaging the country and filling up their personal bank accounts with the proceeds.

        • D says:

          Yes, you and zafard are correct, there are many capitilistic elements in china’s economy, but the basic political system is communist. There are still many farmers who’s land is owned and worked by and for the government. Everything is still controlled and onwned by the government and their largest companies are actually part of the government. Chinese personal lives are still dictated by the government in every way also. Of course they are far from pure communism, but it is proof that the system can work. The foreign capitalist that you speak of are there to make money, but the goverment also makes money and controls them too. It is a mutually beneficial situation. But the fact remains that they are a very successful communist goverment.

        • John Kessler says:

          Like many people you confuse Communism – a political system, with Capitalism – which is an economic system. China is a good example of how the two are independent.

          As you correctly note, where government is involved (police etc) you have good old Communism and all it entails. It’s only in the business realm that you see the effects of capitalism.

      • D says:

        please dont call me simple…

        It was different in those times. There were two world powers after WWII and both of them wanted to rely soley on themselves (ie the cold war). This means internal development of all sectors for security of the country and its peoples. Food, Clothes, Construction, Military equiptment, it all had to come from within. Now with china, it buys its technology from U.S., military equiptment from Russia, oil from the mid east and so on. If there was ever any problems with it’s suppliers, it would collapse from within. Russia could not take this chance in a time of cold war. But it’s priorities were misguided. Too much money and effort into military projects made the other sectors suffer. But anyway, my point is that if communism was given a chance in Russia again, it would not make those same mistakes twice. And that is already happening in Russia, a revised version of communism , its just that everyone is scared to call it ny that name becuase of its past failures.

        • Zafarad says:

          I am still on my stand sir,youi are still”simple”guy! ! ! ! !.if i am right,you are try to tell us,that china does not have strong and reliable based development plan and they rely totally on foreign technical and energy resources.but mr wise guy,tell me about,Japan,Korea(south)and Taiwan! ! ! ! !.they have also lacked in natural resources and in the beginning of their route to becoming developed nations,they also borrow “some technical”know how from the west.that is the routine and normal phenomena nowdays.”At a around table there`s no dispute of place”! ! ! ! ! ! ! !.in last Communism is not fixed ideology,beside circumstances it changes his way to implementations along with the new demands of society.but one thing is totally fixed,exploiting the basic human needs through so called “multinationals”.

      • Conor says:

        I would argue that the US did not win the “great war”.
        That said, nor did the Soviets.

        The cold war was won by common humanity. At that time, and still now, the planet could be destroyed at a moments notice.
        The cold war should serve as a reminder that any situation can be overcome through democracy and compromise.

        • Visitor says:

          That sounds wonderful. I have a nice warm feeling inside after reading it. :)

          I’m reminded of how some of the most popular diplomats and statesmen of their time “compromised” with Hitler and convinced him to change his ways, open the gates of the concentration camps, stop killing babies and kids who weren’t “pure” enough, release Austria, the Sudetenland, Poland, the Netherlands, etc. from his iron (as in tanks) grip, and begin to send regular payments to the synagogues and churches that he had ordered closed and/or destroyed because they dared question his policies.

          A little trivia quiz–which British prime minister is most remembered, admired, and respected–Chamberlain, or Churchill? Why?

          “Common humanity” didn’t do squat to stop the Nazi juggernaut. A bunch of men (and many women, even then) gave their lives to stop him.

          Now we’ve got Ahmadinejad (the real one, not the asylum inmate who keeps sneaking into the office and using his therapist’s computer at night to leave comments here) promising to finish the job Hitler started and, once again, we’ve got “peace-loving” “humanity” throwing themselves at his feet to try to placate him. Or, the dirty little secret may be that many of them want him to finish the job.

          • Resident says:

            Stop beating the war drums, Iran poses no threat, and you know it. They have no nukes and no chance against Israel/US and Israel/US would inanely use bunker busters to destroy the environment.
            The only thing Iran poses a threat to is its own people with large amounts of human rights abuses.

            • Visitor says:

              None of the facts, questions, trivia, etc. that I wrote above is anywhere near “beating the war drums.” It’s interesting, though, that in response to my question about letting Ahmadinejad follow through with his threat to destroy Israel, I get accused of “beating the war drums.” He’s the one who started making threats–during the campaign that got him elected to the presidency, and since.

              I have no desire to beat war drums, and the idea of fighting in the Zagros Mountains does not appeal to me at all. Plus, despite what all the “experts” say on TV, “airpower” alone will NOT solve this problem. So, I know war with Iran would be futile unless it’s a massive effort composed of at least several major powers.

              Also–I’m not one of the loud-mouthed pundits or talking heads (like Sean Hannity, for example) who never spent a day in the military in their life, but talk tough about kicking everybody’s butt . . . by sending somebody else’s sons (and daughters too, these days) to do the fighting and dying, or to come home and try to live the rest of their lives without an arm, leg, eye, etc.

              However, referring to factual statements and threats made by a sitting president (Ahmadinejad), and historical precedent, is not “beating the war drums.” Almost thirty years of history of the Islamic Republic and it’s export of terror, as well as the way they treat their own people (as you alluded to) is a pretty darned good indication of what lengths they will go to. I don’t WANT to go to war with them, but I don’t want them to get their bloody hands on nuclear weapons, either. Neither do most democratic governments. Ahmadinejad is, at a minimum, playing a dangerous game by playing “chicken” with the world.

              However, I think some people will never be satisfied until they see Israel overrun, and every Jew wiped from the face of the earth. It makes no sense but, again, there are centuries of historical precedent, often emanating from the seat of “civilized” seats of culture and learning. So, I’m really not surprised to see the attitude continue today.

              The US is one of the few countries that would do anything to stop it, so that makes us just as much an enemy, or more–as Ahmadinejad himself says, the “big Satan.” (Israel being the “little Satan”).

      • Iago says:

        Communism (Socialism) claimed to consolidate social and economic positions into a single concept. Capitalism was to be eliminated, and the functions of capitalism were to be replaced by committees (soviets), that is, the bureaucracy was to replace capitalism. Bureaucracy has a bad name in America, but I am not sure what it means in Europe and in Asia, where it is more prevalent and less productive.

        The real problem with Socialism is not the expenditure on armaments as such, but that it was corrupt and inefficient. It was corrupt because there was no rule of law, and all power was consolidated into an unresponsive bureaucracy dominated by the nomenclatura. It was inefficient because, without capitalism to put a realistic value on goods, goods were assigned values at whatever subjective price the bureaucracy wanted. And too often, goods were produced (or not produced) in order to meet bureaucratic goals rather than to recognize values and needs.

        The United States has developed a system that seems to work better, and continues to improve. The USA system features republican democracy (federalism), the rule of law, and free market economics that has grown out of the old capitalist system of Marx’s time.

        When Communism was transferred to other countries (Eastern Europe, China, NorK), the problems of Communism were transferred as well, and these countries did not prosper. China was an unmitigated disaster under Communism, and only began to improve after it adopted free markets, one of the principle components of the USA system. But much of the Chinese economy remains state owned and essentially bankrupt, and the government retains totalitarian control. Even the Social Democracies of Western Europe have adopted a massive Socialist bureaucracy, and the Western European economies have consequently been stagnant for decades. So, I conclude that adoption of components of the USA system has beneficial results, but economies that only adopt part of the system thereby limit their own growth and development.

        In comparison, countries that adopt the full range of the USA system show spectacular results. Chile was the poorest country in Latin America when Allende got through with it, and now it is the richest country in Latin America. Ireland and Estonia, more recently, have adopted democracy, the rule of law, and free markets, and have shown amazing progress.

        I am not saying that America or Americans are better. I am saying that we have labored hard and unsteadily to find what works well, to good effect. These good effects can be transferred to other countries, in whole or in part.

        I am alarmed that Russia has moved away form the rule of law, and has placed so much trust in commodity prices, which are notoriously volatile. The last time oil prices fell, the Soviet system collapsed. The next time oil prices fall, Russia will be back where it was in 1992.

    • Dzhugashviliy says:

      Yes. Soviets did it for the good of mankind. Now we can sell it for the good of my comission. 10% is ok.

      (not trying to be funny)

    • Zafarad says:

      Hybridization with evil sick capitalist corrupt looters of people`s wealth?instead of they should be sit on opposition benches.we can`t be well live without basic human needs provided by the state.soviet did very best at their time.what can we do bare “freedom of speech”without any social guarantee providing by the state.

      • Akhenathon says:

        So you give up your freedom to begging for “social guarantees”. That’s great. Let me remind you: someone has to pay the bill.

      • Zafarad says:

        Yes i do appreciate your views,but please sir, let give some freedom to “some innocent Chinese scientists”of Las almos lab,to perform their “duties”from their mother land CHINA.we want freedom for the Chinese people! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    • ¬_¬ says:

      You see… the problem is, neither comunism works on a oppresive state rule, neither capitalism works on democracy. Both Rusia and America where wrong in that point from the begining. A democracy based comunism system would really work great (from the point of view of the people), exactly the same as an oppresive police-state style capitalism would work great (from the point of view of the people in charge).

      Well, just a teory, though. Maybe in time we’ll get to see if is wright or wrong…

  4. Rastaputin says:


  5. I saw another one on the recent Michael Palin programme about new europe but this one in Russia is utterly amazing.

  6. John from Kansas says:

    What an incredible accomplishment! Superb engineering. Thanks for the photos.

  7. Jake says:

    Russians are crazy people :)
    And sometimes that’s good because they create THIS kinds of things…
    I have NEVER seen anything like this and this Large.

    PS: The anti-spam word for me was lenin :) wonder why…

  8. renton says:

    Nothing great- natural way of passing rivers where level of water is different. I had to pass 5 such devices on the way from one lake to another in Poland (difficult operation in fact- for the crew).

  9. Zak says:

    Wow… really impressive.

  10. sambeau says:

    Scotland can boast the Falkirk Wheel, not quite on that scale, but certainly prettier!


  11. Lepaien says:

    I’m from Belgium and we have too big installations for boots to go uphill.
    First this one
    Pics here:

    The second one is a real lift!
    This boot elevator is the biggest one in the world. It allows 1350 tons boot to go 73,15 meters uphill.
    Pics here

    I think this time we beat Russia!!

  12. snuggles says:

    I agree

  13. Steam McQueen says:

    A brilliant example of Soviet engineering. Isn’t it amazing that they can come up with such a unique solution to a complicated problem, but they can’t figure out how to build a car that people would want to buy, or deliver hot water to their citizens even in major cities 12 months out of the year….

  14. igor01 says:

    looks like half life 2 some of the stuff there

  15. Tim says:

    Very cool machine, I like the turn-table at the top so it would be at the right angle to return to the water.

  16. D says:

    “Please dont talk garbage if you dont know anything. Thank you ”

    I suggest you take your own advice.

    By work, meaning the economy is growing at a incredible pace, and at the rate they are going, they will be the largest economy in 10-15 years, and with that comes a better life for all social classes. It is true they are polluting a lot, but its not more than the U.S., yet. Check your sources. And they will get better with that.

  17. Richard S. says:

    Like this website says, “something cool happens on 1/6 of the earth’s surface everyday”.

  18. Kim Jong IL says:

    These are great picures! Thanks!

    As to some of the comments…

    Just like with crime, the U.S. is not even in the top 5. When it comes to pollution, the U.S isn’t even in the top 10. This ain’t the 50s and 60s guys.

  19. Mr.Tinkles says:

    And I must say this too…
    China is the most polluted country in the world TODAY,because the USA is not far behind,they’re running a competion xD~~
    Yes,the country is getting rich and better economy,but also it brings serious social problems.Before Xiaoping you don’t see misery,hunger and guetos as you can see today.
    And the government is very commited to solve enviroment problems.Actually,a “green city”(forget the name) will be made in a few years.The government is interested on new tecnologies,it is the reason why China is atracting brains of all the globe.
    We don’t see this commitment by the USA government.

    *Be carefuly when you read some things,specially if you are from USA.Or do you trully believe that America is the land of honey and milk,everyone is happy and the news only says the true(without any ideologys behind)??

  20. Neo says:

    That’s bad-ass. Stuff like this keeps me coming back to this bl0g. Nice job.

  21. Mr.Tinkles says:

    (they REALLY need to across the powerplant?dont you have a more difficult way?? xD~~ good lord,why they dont put the containers on a normal train??)

    • Ivan Mikhailov says:

      They don’t put containers on a normal train because biulding a railroad in that mountains would cost an absolute fortune whereas traffic is moderate. Meanwhile there’s a ready-to-use river across half of the continent, for free.

      There’s one more purpose of the thing, not so evident. It lets fish to migrate.

  22. Picolo says:

    Lo que no se es como le funcionan las ruedas del barco, porque el agua salada las debería dejar inservibles.

  23. Overbyte says:

    Here is Lock 44 / “the big chute” from the Severin-Trent Waterway in Ontario:

    Aerial photo:


    Grainy video:


  24. grumpygrady says:

    what a great way to delliver the huge transformers that the power house needs
    most places have to go from ship to train to multi-tired trailers to get them to the powerhouses
    here its all ship
    and after it is used for more river traffic
    my hat is off to the idea

  25. my54ford says:

    How many poor kulaks died building that thing!?!?!?!

  26. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says:

    Belgian chocolates? Swiss? German?

    No French chocolates. I don’t like them since the crazy Sarkozy take over and abuse the Muslim youts just because they make the protest in the street and burn a few old Peugot cars to make the happy fire.

    • John from Kansas says:


      • James says:

        Reminds me of “My Cousin Vinny”

        Vinny Gambini: It is possible that the two youts…
        Judge Chamberlain Haller: …Ah, the two what? Uh… uh, what was that word?
        Vinny Gambini: Uh… what word?
        Judge Chamberlain Haller: Two what?
        Vinny Gambini: What?
        Judge Chamberlain Haller: Uh… did you say ‘youts’?
        Vinny Gambini: Yeah, two youts.
        Judge Chamberlain Haller: What is a yout?

      • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says:

        Youths. Young people.

        Sorry for my bad English, but you know I speak the language of Persia–Farsi. I also speak the language of desert dogs–Arabic, but only because there are so many of them nipping at my heels here in PERSIAN Gulf region, even until now.

  27. randy perkins says:

    Wow, now that was really amazing!

  28. Halli says:

    I was once in Germany, and there is also one near Berlin and still working, but much much smaller. I think I have to visit Russia.

  29. excalibur says:

    So if that thing got in a fight with this thing:


    who would win?

  30. NoemiSkt says:

    The train of the witch, it is not!!


  31. walter says:

    What a waste of time and resources.

    • autoblogreader says:

      Agreed – the vast majority of trolls on this thread are indeed a waste of time and resourses. But the boat-shifting thingy? Now that’s great!

  32. Blogerko says:

    Wooooow, this is amazing

  33. PENIX says:

    At first glance it seems completely insane. That is an enormous amount of weight. On the other hand, building a track is probably a lot cheaper than digging a new river to connect the two.

  34. ottoman says:

    Ottoman Emperor Fatih Sultan Mehmed did this when he conquere Istanbul. No one could think that something can happen like that. But he did. Ottomans did, Turks did. Turks can do everything via God’s Power anytime anywhere…

  35. beth bivens says:


  36. photo fan says:

    I live in Russia and have never seen or imagined anything like that, so I am amazed not less than you are.

  37. Greg says:

    Wow now that’s very cool! What an amazing machine!

  38. Florbes says:

    coolio g-dawg

  39. Dre says:

    The best part is that this thing works on electricity generated by the dam. The environment is not polluted. Take that!

  40. Ilya says:

    Amazing! I didn’t even think that such things exist.
    Here are some interesting facts i’ve found about this boat lift:
    it has 78 wheels and moves with a speed of 1 metre per second; the turntable is 106 metres in diameter with angle of 140 degrees; the level difference is 104 metres, full length – 1510 metres, on-ground part – 1180 m; carrying capacity – 8100 tons. Impressive, isn’t it?

  41. Canuck says:

    If one had to ship large dynamoes to a dam further up the remote river it could be extremely economic. I liked the comment about fish migration. Its so close to its power source that you could run it off an extension cord. I think I’ll design one that runs off counter-weight.

  42. Dan Tracy says:

    Awesome piece of engineering. They even used a turntable. Thanks for posting. Dan

  43. Rakeback says:

    Awesome technika. The russian engineers are so hard.

  44. Koos says:

    You can find it in Devnogorsk, Siberia. They wanted to keep the navigation on the river Yenisei after building a huge dam.
    Here it is on Google Maps:

  45. [...] English Russia From River to River __________________ A fool can twist the grip, but a fool has no idea how to stop or turn. [...]

  46. nordic12 says:

    does it take EZ-Pass?

  47. Xpltivdletd says:

    What an impressive piece of engineering! I don’t give a rat’s–who shot John, politically. The SYSTEM that sent some of its finest inventors to prison didn’t build this. PEOPLE built it. It’s one fine, Gearhead solution to a problem, and it looks like it’s still working.

    I don’t know if I will ever be a tourist visiting the former-USSR. It could be quite complicated. But, now there is one more place I would really love to see. The machines we build to get things done are not political. Gravity doesn’t care who you are or whom you serve or what you want. This machine gets past a little gravity, so that dam can keep on putting it to work. In any language–good job!

  48. Good review, I know you always recommend the ING for personal use, nice to see you find them useful for business as well. Ill keep that in mind if I ever need to open a business acount.

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