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Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: Riqueval Tunnel fee

Riqueval Tunnel fee 07 Nov 2020 05:12 #119541

  • Bob Marsland
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At the September CLU (User Group Meeting) it was confirmed the Riqueval tunnel toueur would cease operation. No date was given nor was detail concerning safe navigation through the tunnel in the future. Hopefully fuller details will be forthcoming at the next CLU on 26.11.2020.

Bob
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Riqueval Tunnel fee 05 Nov 2020 12:47 #119478

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I have moved the posts referring to the tunnel on the Canal du Nord to their own topic entitled: "Raillencourt Tunnel on the Canal du Nord ".

Bob
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Riqueval Tunnel fee 03 Nov 2020 13:55 #119432

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Lynn Woods wrote: Does this mean that touage has already been de-commissioned?

Maybe the time slots can be managed on the principle that electrically-powered craft always go first.

Lynn


I have written to VNF asking for clarification .

Bob
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Riqueval Tunnel fee 02 Nov 2020 19:49 #119419

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My kids were younger than that when we used to boat in England, and my wife had an uncanny knack of putting a soiled nappy on the fire just as we entered a tunnel. Yuck!

Balliol.

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 02 Nov 2020 13:33 #119413

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Having travelled the preston brook tunnel, behind several boats with wood burners on because it was a bit cold !! I would have welcomed the smokey DAF, we came out looking like a chimney sweep. Boat, clothes and body needed a really good wash. My son who was 8 at the time found it all highly amusing :)

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 01 Nov 2020 13:43 #119401

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Touage still working end of September this year

where do smokey DAF 575's come in the picking order then?

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 01 Nov 2020 13:35 #119400

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Does this mean that touage has already been de-commissioned?

Maybe the time slots can be managed on the principle that electrically-powered craft always go first.

Lynn

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 01 Nov 2020 10:50 #119398

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We have electric power (hybrid drive) and were allowed through under our own electric power in June 2020. We had to follow a commercial and the fumes from her were unpleasant.

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 22:17 #119332

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Gordon Knight wrote: Hi Martin,

No - it was the one below. I'm sure you would have handled the wheel with aplomb rather than with white knuckles.

This photo was taken just before the touer accelerated up onto the plane...!

GORDON


I see you are using two lines, but can't determine their length. As I already said, if you look at the commercials you will see they all to a man use one 30m line from the offside on their fore end to the offside on the vessels ahead. They are doing this because it has been established as the best and most efficient means of. transiting the tunnel. Craft are (or always used to be) arranged simplistically by weight - chargés (loaded commercials), vides, pleasure barges, and finally yachts. Yachts were often told to use two lines crossed, though in my experience that would not work very well - if the boat ahead moved to port then the yacht would be pulled that way without being able to counteract it.

Our early commecially boating exerience was with freight pairs of narrowboats on UK canals, so I do have a lot of experience of towage, and what was good enough for the péniches was good enough for me too. The spitz in the video Pete posted obviously learned from the same people - the crew of the touer give them one offside line, but the yacht hung on their stern has a crossed pair.

Tam
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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 20:35 #119329

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By coincidence, I came across this rather good film which includes a trip through riqueval (about 7min in).

Pete
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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 18:52 #119327

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white knuckles indeed, first time through I think a change of underwear was required. apart from the fact that (as a barging newbie) we had not got the ropes tensioned right so we were constantly being pulled into the wall. To add insult to injury, I had not realized that my cruising lights ran off the engine battery, so that when the 38m in front threw off the line we had a dead engine, so I had to pull the barge out by hand for the last 200m, just like they did in the old days.
great to look back on but not at the time. I really do hope however that they keep it going somehow, it is a real experience and a lovely canal.

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 18:36 #119326

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Hi Martin,

No - it was the one below. I'm sure you would have handled the wheel with aplomb rather than with white knuckles.

This photo was taken just before the touer accelerated up onto the plane...!

GORDON
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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 17:09 #119324

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Hi Gordon
are you sure it wasn't a 21m British registered barge, I seem to have to spend all my time when being towed trying to go in a straight line and fighting with the wheel. But it is great fun!

will be most sad to see the touer go, piece of history that really worked.

cheers
mpn

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 17:07 #119323

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Hmmm. Maybe those of us under electric power will be allowed to go through at head of queue - and/or offer a tow?!

Any indication when this takes effect?
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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 16:25 #119322

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Think ventilation will be an issue. Went through a tunnel a few years ago , not very long, with no ventilation and the other end was barely visible at the start and then looked like a red sunset.

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 15:42 #119319

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We went through in August this year at the end of the tow and behind a panicky German barge skipper who kept sawing his rudder back and forth.

Also, because the lads working the touer were 20 minutes late arriving they sped us through the tunnel at a rate that would have had Lewis Hamilton purring. And all because there were three commercials waiting at the other end for the 0930 southbound tow.

This skipper - for one - will be delighted to see the touer relegated to the museum and the operators returned to the Mad Max film studios!:woohoo:

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 15:01 #119318

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Tam Murrell wrote: Whoops - for 1910 read 2010 - even I'm not old enough to have gone through the tunnel back then!

Tam


You were probably not that far out with your original date Tam. I first went through this tunnel in 1987 and I don’t recollect ever paying cash on the day. I used to get a negligible invoice two months later. Come to think of it I last went through in 2014 and don’t recall ever receiving the bill for that.

Hopefully one of the tugs will be preserved. I don’t think passage under your own power will be any more stressful than the tow. Also more time to look at all the old Great War adits. Ventilation might be an issue if clots decide to power through. Take it gently! It will be just as quick.

Balliol.

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 14:08 #119316

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Is there any more info on this please? Date of effect, timetable, ventilation concerns et al....

TIA

Lynn

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 13:17 #119312

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There will obviously have to be a one-way system of some kind, probably controlled by lights as there presently is at Lesdins.

Tam

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 12:51 #119311

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Thanks Gordon,

thats another one off my list. Still think that the VNF team from our experience over the last three years provide excellent service under difficult conditions and in most cases with a smile.

Great shame that the Touer is going to be retired, we have now been towed through 4 times and we were just getting the hang of it. Not sure if a 5 k tunnel under your own steam is a good idea, will they still gather barges in a convoy?

cheers
mpn

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 12:43 #119310

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Whoops - for 1910 read 2010 - even I'm not old enough to have gone through the tunnel back then!

Tam
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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 12:41 #119309

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The fee did become rather silly. They used to collect it at the St Quentin lock office which was simple - you could pay with cash, there and then. At some point about 1910? there was an argument about responsibilities and thereafter your address was taken at Crèvecoeur and you were sent an invoice. I suspect that the quantity of unpaid invoices was legion - expecting payment by the owners of craft making one-off trips on their return home to all corners of the Earth several months later was extremely optimistic. They did try demanding some form of proof of address at the tunnel, but e.g. UK passports do not include an address and people don't necessarily carry old gas bills or the like with them; owners were getting into fierce arguments, so that didn't work.

I see that the touer is to be retired soon, and boats will pass under power. That will obviously be simpler, but it's rather sad that this final vestige of towage will disappear.

Tam
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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 12:11 #119308

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Martin, the charge was abolished with effect from 1 January. Passage is free with 48 hours notice.

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Riqueval Tunnel fee 28 Oct 2020 11:21 #119306

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Hi All

went through the Riqueval twice this year and gave my address both times to the lock keeper.at Crevecoeur A bit surprised that I have not yet had an invoice. We received an invoice last year ok. Has anyone else had this issue? As I want to use this service again in the future don't want to fall foul of the VNF at Riqueval. Will try contacting the VNF if I don't receive anything soon.

regards
mpn

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