The fact that there is an elevator for everything is pretty funny. We are becoming a soft people, right? It will end up going anywhere with just the push of a button. I can't help but think we're exaggerating: oh, come on, do we really need an elevator for every single thing?
Nothing, this boomer introduction was to tell you that in some cases elevators really make a difference. Do you think that there are capable of carrying even gigantic ships on board.
The new, huge ship lift
The latest masterpiece of engineering was born in Niederfinow, in eastern Germany. It is 55 meters tall, and could carry the weight of 50 blue whales on a stretch of canal between Poland and Berlin.
The imposing reinforced concrete elevator, the largest in the country, was conceived for modern barges and went into operation just yesterday: the German Minister of Transport, Volker Wissing, he says that "will bring river transport into the future".
To see it in action it is just like that: in a few minutes this trinket takes the ships to a height of 36 meters, bringing them smoothly to pass from the Polish port of Szczecin to the German capital, more or less 50 kilometers (31 miles) away.
With its network of metal cables, the huge structure stands against the backdrop of green fields near the Oder-Havel canal in the state of Brandenburg. The lift was built to replace an old system in the same location: at almost 90 years of age (was commissioned in 1934) no longer held modern naval traffic. Nonetheless, it will hold its own until 2025 and then enjoy a "retirement" as a tourist attraction for the village of 600 souls that hosts it.
The new version is 30 meters longer than the old one (which was the tallest in the world at the time) and can carry almost double the weight. As you can imagine, it was not easy to build it: between late deliveries, a shortage of workers and a pandemic, it arrives "only" 8 years late.
Meanwhile, the record was smashed by the Chinese-built elevator at the Three Gorges Dam, which lifts and lowers ships to 113 meters. Hey, it's higher than the Statue of Liberty. They must have done it on purpose.