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  • The Monkland Canal was a 12¼ mile canal, designed to bring coal from the mining areas of Monklands to Glasgow in Scotland. In the course of a long and difficult construction process, it was opened progressively as short sections were completed, from 1771. It reached Gartcraig in 1782, and in 1794 it reached its full originally planned extent, from pits at Calderbank to a basin at Townhead in Glasgow; at first this was in two sections with a 96 feet vertical interval between them at Blackhill; coal was unloaded and carted to the lower section and loaded onto a fresh barge. Locks were later constructed linking the two sections, and the canal was also connected to the Forth and Clyde Canal, giving additional business potential. Maintaining an adequate water supply was a problem, and later an inclined plane was built at Blackhill, in which barges were let down and hauled up, floating in caissons that ran on rails. Originally intended as a water-saving measure to be used in summer only, the inclined plane was found to pass barges more quickly than through the locks and may have been used all the year. Wikipedia

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