Waits at locks and bridges

You may have to wait for various reasons during your canal journey. Don’t create a too detailed schedule, but allow plenty of time to enjoy all the experiences a canal trip has to offer.

One lock keeper, several bridges and locks
Many of the bridges along the Göta Canal are remote controlled, and the same lock keeper works several locks and bridges on one section of the canal. Due to saftey reasons the lock keeper can only open one bridge at a time. This can lead to a certain waiting time for lock and bridge openings. 


Flights of locks
In flights of locks, such as Carl Johan in Berg, Borenshult in Motala and the Hajstorps-Riksberg locks, you may have to wait a few hours during peak traffic. This is because lockage goes in one direction through the whole flight of locks before the direction changes.


Passenger boats have priority.
Commercial vessels have priority at locks and bridges. You may have to wait until they have passed through the lock or bridge.


The right water level
Regulation of water level. We sometimes need to regulate the water level on a given stretch of the canal. The lock hosts will let you know how long it will take.


In the event of thunder and lightning, all lockage and bridge openings are cancelled or postponed for safety reasons. In heavy winds boats may drift during lockage. It is the boat owner’s own responsibility to decide whether or not to perform lockage in such conditions.


Position yourself in front of the bridge as you wait for it to open

In all bridge passages, it is important to position yourself right at the bridge to show that you want to pass. If you stay by the dock or pier, it is hard for the lock host to see if you want to pass or not.

Railway bridges 
Rail traffic has priority, which means you may have to wait at the railway bridges in Norsholm, Motala, Töreboda and Lyrestad. Be prepared to pass quickly at the opening of a railway bridge, as the Swedish Transport Administration only allows short interruptions for bridge openings.

Road bridges with special opening hours

The road bridges in Töreboda and Karlsborg

Open every whole and half hour during the canal’s peak season, except noon, 1 PM and 4 PM on weekdays. The last bridge opening is at 6 PM.

The E22 bridge in Söderköping
Opens every whole and half hour during the canal’s peak season. The last bridge opening is at 6 PM. On Fridays and Sundays the bridge only opens at whole hours between 3 and 6 PM. This also applies on the Thursday before Midsummer. During the pre-order season, the bridges only open for scheduled traffic under a specific itinerary.