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A Barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Some barges are not self-propelled and need to be towed or pushed by towboats. Canal barges, towed by draft animals on an adjacent towpath, contended with the railway in the early Industrial Revolution, but were outcompeted in the carriage of high-value items due to the higher speed, falling costs and route flexibility of railways.

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Type of the barge
There are many kinds of barge.
1. by use of points
The main passenger barge and cargo barge.
Passenger barge, special passenger transport, with living facilities, generally used for the river passenger.
Barge, used to carry goods, according to the goods can be divided into dry cargo barge, Sand Barge, barge, coal barges, Deck Barge. The general cargo barge without Lifting Equipment, loading and unloading of cargo handling machinery on the docks. Cargo can also be used for goods in transit port.
2. structure form
Open deck barge: aka open barge, with several hatch hatch barge; only one cargo holds, above all open;
The deck barge: no cargo on deck, cargo, deck is arranged around a pile of blocked goods coaming;
Deck barge deck stowage, deck cargo are arranged around the hatch coaming;
Tank barge: a container, such as a tank, is set up on the deck to ship oil, liquefied gas, etc..
3. according to the material points
Steel barge, wooden barge, cement barge. According to the ship, mainly general barge and barge.
General barge pendulous cut was streamlined, with anchor and rudder. The barge are in box (full barge), or one end and the other end is tapered box (semi integrated barge). China of ancient vessel (also known as the two ships) can be regarded as the prototype of the modern semi integrated barge fleet consisting of. It consists of two sections of the same length of the ship, the anterior bow end inclined cut, and the tail end is a square box, after the bow end is of a square box shape, and the tail end of the oblique cut, two ship box end mutual of rope, cable connection. Rudder is located in the rear section of the ship. Modern segmented barge generally do not set the rudder, the barge set anchor, China and some countries in Western Europe segmented barge set anchor. Integrated barge has the advantages of simple structure, convenient construction, low cost and with articulated barge fleet composition, reduce the sailing resistance and improve the carrying capacity, so the barge has been widely used. The United States has 3 kinds of commonly used barge, load and their scale is based on the standard to determine the scale of inland waterway. There are also a lot of barge built according to standard scale in inland waters of our country.