Seine-Nord Europe Canal Company

Learn more about the Seine-Nord Europe Canal

What is the Seine-Nord Europe Canal? What are its objectives and its ambition at the heart of the Region, France and Europe? 

The Canal at home

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6 locks will punctuate the journey of boats on the Seine-Nord Europe Canal. Functioning like "staircases", these works of art allow boats to cross the reliefs of the territory. The lock chamber will be approximately 200 meters long and 12,5 meters wide. The Canal will have two more than 25 meters in height, i.e. the difference in level of the water level of the Canal (called "reach") on either side of the lock . They will be the largest ever built in Europe.

The locks of the Seine-Nord Europe Canal

These 6 locks, located at Montmacq / Cambronne-lès-Ribécourt (6,41 meters drop), Noyon (21,07 m) and Catigny (14 m), in the Oise, at Allaines (13,10 m), in the Somme, as well as at Marquion Bourlon (25,71 m) and Oisy-le-Verger (25 m), in the Pas-de-Calais, can be crossed each in 30 minutes on average. A seventh lock of smaller size (95 x 6 m and 11,27 m) will link the Canal Seine-Nord Europe and the Canal du Nord to join the existing canal in the Somme valley.

Montmacq-Cambronne-lès-Ribécourt Lock ©Ateliers 2/3/4/
Lock of Noyon
Lock of Catigny

Lock of Allaines

Lock of Marquion-Bourlon

Lock of Oisy-le-Verger

The design of these locks represents a real technical challenge. Each of these works was designed by the teams of the Société du Canal Seine-Nord Europe and its project managers in compliance with ambitious environmental criteria. Thus, to preserve water resources, basins attached to the lock will save a good part of the water during the emptying of the lock to be reused during the next filling. Water that cannot be spared is immediately pumped from the tailbay to the forebay.

Diagram of a lock on the Seine-Nord Europe Canal
  1. Walls
  2. Control and tourist building for the locks of Noyon, Allaines and Oisy-le-Verger
  3. Downstream head
  4. Mask wall and gate downstream of the lock
  5. Guide Climbs
  6. Downstream outer harbor
  7. Pumping station
  8. Lateral saving basins
  9. Lock chamber
  10. Upstream head of the lock
  11. Upstream outer harbor
  12. Lock garages

To limit the use of new materials, the walls of certain locks, called side walls, will be thin. They will rest on large masses of silt (deposits of earth and particles transported by waterways) taken on site and mixed with a skilful dosage of lime and binders. This innovative solution is the subject of a full-scale test program near Marquion.

Particular attention has been paid to the insertion of the locks of the Seine-Nord Europe Canal which will create new landscapes. Three of them, Noyon, Allaines and Oisy-le-Verger are designed to welcome the public, becoming essential tourist routes in Hauts-de-France. For example, lined with 750 trees, the lock at Noyon will be integrated into the historic setting of the old medieval town and its cathedral.

30 minutes

This is the average time it takes to completely pass through a lock on the Seine-Nord Europe Canal, of which about half is to go up or down the lock.