A map of the Engine Arm of the Old Main Line (BCN)
The map displays a range of services available on the Engine Arm of the Old Main Line (BCN). Simply click the box next to any service being displayed in the Map Key on the left of your screen.
A brief history of the Engine Arm of the Old Main Line (BCN)
|Canal length :||0.5 miles|
The Engine Arm, also known as the Birmingham Feeder, was built by Thomas Telford in 1825 to carry water from the Rotton Park Reservoir to the Old Main Line.
The New Main Line Canal bypassed the Smethwick Summit with its locks system at either end. The Smethwick Summit required a continuous supply of water to replace the water lost in the locks. A steam engine, the Smethwick Engine, was built in 1779 to pump water from below the locks back to the summit. The Engine Arm was used to supply water to the Smethwick Engine.
The Engine Arm had to pass over the New Main Line Canal requiring the construction of the magnificent, cast iron Engine Arm Aqueduct.
The Engine Arm was made navigable in 1830 between the Smethwick Summit of the Old Main Line canal and Engine Arm Basin, just beyond the Smethwick Engine a few hundred metres away so that boats could carry coal to the engine.
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