Falkirk Wheel closed until March for further maintenance

The Falkirk Wheel has now closed until March 22 for the second phase of its annual MOT.

A dedicated engineering team from Scottish Canals has been instructed to drain the visitor attraction in order to replace mechanical and hydraulic parts which will ensure the Wheel keeps turning throughout 2019.

The basin and aqueduct will also be drained to allow further inspection of the supporting infrastructure, such as the pumps and sluices, and dredging along their length.

Boat trips will recommence on Saturday, March 23.

Richard Millar, director of Infrastructure at Scottish Canals said: “The Falkirk Wheel is an incredible and unique feat of engineering as well as one of Scotland’s top tourism attractions and it’s essential we carry out regular maintenance to ensure it continues to operate safely for many years to come.

“Throughout February, our team will be inspecting, repairing and replacing many of the thousands of individual components that make up this amazing fusion of art and engineering, from the tiny nuts and bolts of its electric motors to the gates of its gigantic gondolas.

“It’s an epic undertaking that will ensure the world’s only rotating boat lift is ready to offer a revolutionary experience to visitors from all over the world come March.”

As the world’s only rotating boat lift, the Falkirk Wheel is one of Scotland’s most popular tourist sites, attracting around 500,000 visitors each year.