Meet the biggest ship lift in the world – a unique Russian achievement

The elevator for ships in Krasnoyarsk is a single existing ship hoist in Russia. The largest lift was built in 1976 (but entered into usage only six years after) at the hydroelectric power station located on Yenisei. It’s located at the adjoining dike of a power station, which height exceeds hundred meters to the left bank of the river.

The ship consists of an out port, a lower access canal, a hoist, and a turntable. The lift is a platform moving along a railroad with its width of nine meters with a gearing. Every rail of this road rests on its own overpass. Moves are made by facilities of electrical traction.

On the 17th of June 2011, the 1st series of massive items of a group for hydroelectric tools was loaded in Saint-Petersburg. These are 3 turbine impellers for fluid power system, three oil bearings and a few skeletons of the rotors. All these make 537 tons in total.


The freighter proceeded along two lakes, Onega and Ladoga. Then it goes through the canal to the White Sea, and after crossing the Northern Sea Route, enters Yenisei. Having reached Krasnoyarsk dam, the equipment is transshipped to the canal boat. It was essential to cross the ship’s hoist.

The creation of the hoist started in year 1963, invoked by the necessity to revive shipping along the Yenisei, and finished with the erection of the dike of the Krasnoyarsk hydropower plant in the riverbed.

Formally, the ship’s elevator was sent into work in 1982. The ship’s elevator is a framework moving along the trail, with a trail’s breadth of 9 meters (this is the widest track on the planet) and having a gearing.

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Features of the moving

Move is to be performed by facilities of electrical traction. 120 thousand rubles are essential to transport the cargo by the Krasnoyarsk ship’s elevator. For loading the vessel into the hoist, the platform falls below the level of the water. The ship’s vessel transports cargoes with carrying capacity up to 1500 tons, with dimensions 78×15 meters and draft of 1.9 meters. The airlock chamber itself measures 88 x 17 meters. The tug causes the barge to enter the ship’s lock. The lock chamber closes. The platform starts moving up the overpass. The barge inside is transported afloat.


The control of movements and systems of the ship chamber is carried out from the control panel located in the end of superstructure. Traction efforts to move the camera along ship routes are created with 156 radial-piston navigators up to 75 kW with a flow rate per revolution of 16 liters. The speed of movement along inclined ship routes is 20 m/min or 1.2 km/h. The weight of the ship box with the water level in the receiving basin is 2.2 m – 8,100 tons. The swivel device is intended for transferring the ship chambers from one tail to another or to a repair and installation site. The control of the rotary device is carried out from the control panel located inside the beam. The length of the pivoting device is 104.6 m. The circumferential speed of rotation along the radius of circular paths is 20 m/min.