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Scottish Canals

Scottish Canals

There are four canals in Scotland, the Caledonian, the Crinan, the Forth and Clyde and the Union, of which the Caledonian and Crinan are national property The Forth and Clyde Navigation runs from Bowling on the Clyde, through the north-western part of Glasgow and through Kirkintilloch and Falkirk to Grangemouth on the Forth, a distance of 35 m. There is also a branch, 23/4 m. long, from Stockingfield to Port Dundas in the city of Glasgow, which is continued for the distance of 1 m. to form a junction with the Monkland canal. This last has a length of 123/4 m., and runs from the north-east of Glasgow through Coatbridge to Woodhall in the parish of Old Monkland. It was begun in 1761 and opened for traffic in 1792. The Forth and Clyde canal was authorized in 1767 and opened from sea to sea in 1790. In 1846 its proprietors bought the Monkland canal, and in 1867 the combined undertaking passed into the hands of the Caledonian Railway Company.

The Union canal, 313/4 m. long, starts from Port Downie, on the Forth and Clyde canal near Falkirk, and runs to Port Hopetoun in Edinburgh. Begun in 1818 it was completed in 1822, and in 1849 was vested in the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Company, which in turn was absorbed by the North British Railway Company in 1865. The Forth and Clyde canal has a revenue of about £120,000 a year, including receipts from the docks at Grangemouth, and the expenditure on management and maintenance is about £40,000. The Union canal earns between £2000 and £3000, and its expenditure is but little less than its revenue.

Three other canals formerly existed in Scotland. The Aberdeen canal, 183/4 m. long, running up the Don valley from Aberdeen to Inverurie was opened in 1807, but did not prove profitable and was ultimately sold to the Great North of Scotland Railway Company, by which it was abandoned.

The Glasgow, Paisley and Johnstone canal, 11m. long, was opened in 181, and was bought in 1869 by the Glasgow and South-Western railway, which in 1881 obtained statutory powers to abandon it as a canal and use its site, so far as necessary, for a railway line. The Forth and Cart Junction canal was only half a mile long. It ran from the Forth and Clyde canal to the Clyde, opposite the river Cart, and was intended to allow vessels to pass direct from the east coast up that river to Paisley. The Caledonian railway, which acquired it together with the Forth and Clyde canal in 1867, obtained powers to abandon it in 1893.

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