elearn site

 
IELTS COURSES --> IELTS PRACTICE --> ACADEMIC READING
 THE ANDERTON BOAT LIFT

 

Section I
When the Trent and Mersey Canal opened in 1777, the Cheshire town of Anderton was the obvious place to transfer goods to and from the nearby River Weaver. There was just one problem: the canal was fifteen metres above the river.
 
Pathways, inclined planes, and chutes were constructed to ease the task of moving cargo by hand. Primitive railways were laid to move cargoes, cranes were built, and steam engines were later installed to power lifting. In the early 1870s, however, the Weaver Navigation Trustees decided to eliminate the cost, effort, and wastage involved in hand transportation when the engineers Edward Leader Williams and Edwin Clarke suggested a ‘boat carrying lift’.
 
Section II
Their design was a unique and magnificent example of the Victorians’ mastery of cast iron and hydraulics. Completed in 1875, graceful in appearance, simple in use, and above all efficient, the lift was hailed as a marvel of the era, and became a prototype for larger versions on the waterways of France and Belgium.
 
The operating mechanism consisted of two vertical sets of interconnected hydraulic cylinders and pistons set into the bed of the river and each piston supported a boat- carrying tank 22.86 metres long and 4.72 metres wide. At rest, one tank was level with the canal and the other level with the river and to move the tanks, a small amount of water was removed from the bottom tank making it lighter than the top tank.
 
Because the two hydraulic cylinders were connected, the heavier top tank moved down and forced hydraulic liquid through the connecting pipe into the other cylinder pushing that piston and the lighter tank upwards. Watertight gates both on the tanks and at the entrance to the canal contained the water while the tanks were moving. A hydraulic pump driven by steam supplied the   small amount of additional energy required to effect a reasonably rapid movement and to enable the tanks to be precisely levelled at the end of their journey.
 
Section III
All went well for the first ten years, then pitting and grooving of the cylinders and pistons occurred. Investigations showed that the canal water used as the hydraulic liquid was contaminated by chemicals and was corrosive, therefore causing the damage.
 
It was immediately changed to distilled water from the steam engine powering the hydraulic pump. Corrosion was dramatically reduced but the damage had been done.
 
In addition, the boiler for the steam engine needed renewing, so in 1906 the Trustees ordered the construction of a new lift, to a design by their engineer J A Saner.
 
Section IV
The new lift was built over the top of the Victorian structure, utilizing the Victorian front and rear columns. The main structure had strong A-frames at either side of the new lift to support the enormous weight of the platform that now formed the top of the framework: on it was located the new operating mechanism, which included seventy- two pulleys weighing up to 35 tonnes each.
 
Each of the boat-carrying tanks was now suspended on wire ropes which ran from the tank to the top of the lift, around pulleys, and down to cast-iron weights at the side of the structure. These were equal to the weight of the water-filled tank. Turning the pulleys one way or the other moved the ropes, so that one tank was raised or lowered independently of the other tank. Because the tanks were counterbalanced by the weights, only a small electrical motor was required to turn the pulleys and so move the tanks up or down.
 
Completed in 1908 the lift was reliable, cheap and easy to operate. Unlike the Victorian lift it was not the least bit elegant, but it was functional and it worked.
 
Section V
Both the 1875 the 1908 versions carried large volumes of commercial traffic and the principal cargoes transported were coal, china clay, salt, manufactured goods, including china ware, and agricultural produce.
 
Sadly, trade on inland waterways in Britain declined dramatically in the 1950s, and goods traffic via the lift effectively ended in the 1960s. The 1970s increase in pleasure boating briefly prolonged its active life, but in 1982 the ‘Cathedral of the Canals’ was finally closed.
 
Section VI
Demolition seemed inevitable, but, after a long campaign by concerned groups, British Waterways agreed, in 1999, to save the lift.
 
Some wanted it ‘conserved as found’, but that would entail replacing much of the existing structure, virtually creating a replica lift. The steel of the 1908 structure had been badly corroded by pollutants from the local chemical industries and would need replacing if it were to support the overhead machinery and 500-tonne counterweights. In addition, safety considerations would require the installation of a back-up braking system.
 
It was decided, therefore, to revert to the 1875 hydraulically-operated system, using the original cast-iron structure. Although the counterweights had to be removed, the 1908 framework and pulleys would be retained as a static monument.
 
It was a huge and expensive project, and not without difficulties. Eventually, in 2002, the Anderton Boat Lift was officially reopened. Boat owners and visitors alike can once again ride ‘the world’s first boat lift’.
 

 Choose the most suitable heading for each section.

1. Choose the most suitable heading for section II
A. The first and second lifts
B. A new framework and machinery
C. Why the lift was needed
D. The new canal
E. How the original lift worked
F. The supports of the second lift
G. The lift in use
H. Restoring the lift
I. A completely new lift
G. Mechanical problems
Explain:


2. Choose the most suitable heading for section III
A. Mechanical problems
B. A new framework and machinery
C. A completely new lift
D. The first and second lifts
E. Why the lift was needed
F. How the original lift worked
G. Restoring the lift
H. The new canal
I. The lift in use
G. The supports of the second lift
Explain:


3. Choose the most suitable heading for section IV
A. The first and second lifts
B. The supports of the second lift
C. Why the lift was needed
D. A completely new lift
E. The new canal
F. The lift in use
G. Restoring the lift
H. How the original lift worked
I. A new framework and machinery
G. Mechanical problems
Explain:


4. Choose the most suitable heading for section V
A. Why the lift was needed
B. The supports of the second lift
C. The first and second lifts
D. The new canal
E. A new framework and machinery
F. A completely new lift
G. Restoring the lift
H. How the original lift worked
I. The lift in use
G. Mechanical problems
Explain:


5. Choose the most suitable heading for section VI
A. Restoring the lift
B. Mechanical problems
C. The new canal
D. How the original lift worked
E. A completely new lift
F. The first and second lifts
G. Why the lift was needed
H. The lift in use
I. The supports of the second lift
G. A new framework and machinery
Explain:

 Complete the diagram below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
 
 

1.
platform weights/ cast iron weights tank/ boat carrying tank A-frame pulley/ pulleys


(1)  

(2)  

(3)  

(4)  

(5)  


 Complete the notes below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the reading passage for each answer.


1.
France and Belgium a hydraulic pump cylinders and pistons


Similar lifts to the Anderton were later built in  

Extra power to move the tanks came from  

Using water from the canal harmed the  


Total: 65 page(s)
Score: 0/10
No.DateRight ScoreTotal Score
 
PARTNERS
NEWS
Khai giảng lớp học tiếng anh miễn phí cho trẻ em nghèo

Triển khai chương trình hoạt động xã hội nhằm tích cực đóng góp cho cộng đồng

Báo Doanh Nhân Sài Gòn viết về trang web elearn.edu.vn

"Better English, Better Choice" (tạm dịch: Tiếng Anh tốt hơn, Lựa chọn tốt hơn) là khẩu hiệu của website ôn luyện tiếng Anh trực tuyến http://elearn.edu.vn.

 

BEES Group
Address: 57/8A Đường số 3, KP1, P.Tăng Nhơn Phú B, Q.9, TP.HCM
Tel: 0932 727 818
Copyright 2010-2020 - All Rights Reserved