Information about the 67km long Canal latéral à la Marne

Canal lateral a la Marne map France

The Canal latéral à la Marne extends from a junction with the Canal de la Marne au Rhin north-east of Vitry-le-François to the canalised river Marne at Dizy-Magenta, a distance of 67km. The first 2km section of the canal is a new cut built in the 1960s to bypass the town of Vitry-le-François. Since then, part of the original line of the canal from a three-way junction (with the canals towards the Rhine and the Saône) near the centre of Vitry-le-François has been infilled.

The short length which remains open is of little interest for pleasure cruising and the more convenient mooring for Vitry-le-François is on the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne. At Condé-sur-Marne (PK 48) the canal connects with the Canal de l’Aisne à la Marne.Canal lateral a la Marne region map

History – The canal was needed to bypass the river Marne, difficult to navigate upstream of Épernay. Works started in 1836 under the Becquey programme, and were completed in 1846. Lengthening of the locks to Freycinet dimensions was completed in the late 19th century. The last lock at Dizy has the same length as those of the Marne. The Vitry-le-François bypass was built in the 1960s.

Key Waterway Dimensions

  • Max Beam: 5.20m
  • Max Height: 3.70m
  • Max Draught: 1.80m


Locks – There are 15 locks, falling towards Dizy, with a total difference in level of 34m. They are of standard dimensions, 38.50 by 5.20m.

Draught – The maximum authorised draught is 1.80m.

Headroom – The bridges leave a minimum clear headroom of 3.70m above normal water level.

Towpath – There is a good towpath throughout.

Authority – VNF – Direction territoriale Bassin de la Seine
– Chemin du Barrage, BP 256, 51011 Châlons-en-Champagne

Click to enlarge

Canal lateral a la Marne waterway strip

Route description, west to east

PK 66.7     Junction with canalised river Marne
PK 66.6     Lock 15 (Dizy)
PK 66.1     Bridge (Hautvillers)
PK 65.3     Bridge (D951)
PK 64.7     Dizy bridge, quay u/s r/b, village 500m r/b
PK 62.6     Lock 14 (Ay), bridge, water
PK 61.7     Ay bridge (Villemoyer), quay d/s r/b, town r/b
PK 61.3     Railway bridge
PK 61.2     Bridge (Ruetz)
PK 60.2     Bridge (Cheminets)
PK 58.8     Mareuil-sur-Ay bridge, quay, port de plaisance d/s r/b, 14 berths for smaller vessels only, night €7.5, water, electricity, shower, slipway, repairs, village with château r/b

Port de Plaisance with all facilities. It is also possible to moor bank-side at the village of Ay PK62

PK 58.2     Basin d/s l/b (silted up)
PK 58.1     Lock 13 (Mareuil-sur-Ay)
PK 57.6     Bridge (D9, Mareuil bypass)
PK 55.3     Bisseuil swing bridge, village l/b
PK 55.1     Bridge (Bussin), former commercial quay d/s r/b
PK 53.0     Lock 12 (Tours-sur-Marne), bridge, private quay d/s l/b
PK 52.9     Tours-sur-Marne village quay and preferred mooring r/bConde-s-Marne junction plan
PK 48.7     Condé-sur-Marne bridges, quay u/s r/b, water, electricity, village r/b
PK 48.4     Junction with Canal de l’Aisne à la Marne, r/b, turning basin
PK 46.4     Aigny bridge, village 600m r/b
PK 44.3     Lock 11 (Vraux), bridge, water, village 1000m r/b
PK 42.6     Juvigny bridge, quay d/s r/b, village 1500m r/b
PK 40.8     Bridge
PK 39.3     Lock 10 (Juvigny)
PK 38.4     Motorway bridge (A26)
PK 37.2     Récy bridge, quay u/s r/b, village r/b
PK 36.2     Bridge (Therme-Brouard)
PK 35.8     Railway bridge
PK 35.4     Turning basin r/b
PK 34.8     Saint-Martin aqueduct and bridge, village r/b
PK 33.6     Châlons-en-Champagne industrial estate, quay r/b
PK 33.0     Footbridge
PK 32.4     Entrance to Canal de Junction (commercial basin), r/b, turning basin
PK 32.2     Lock 9 (Châlons), bridge, water
PK 32.1     Châlons-en-Champagne quay and moorings, water, electricity, in town centre
PK 31.8     Island (Île du Jard), navigation l/b side only
PK 31.7     Footbridge (Passerelle du Jard)
PK 31.6     Aqueduct
PK 31.5     Bridge (Pont Louis XII), grain loading quay u/s r/b
PK 31.3     Bridge (D977)
PK 30.6     Bridge (Allées de Forêts)
PK 27.0     Sarry bridge, quay u/s r/b, village 500m r/b
PK 26.3     Lock 8 (Sarry)
PK 24.8     Bridge (Moncetz), quay d/s r/b
PK 23.7     Chépy bridge, quay u/s r/b
PK 21.8     Bridge (Saint-Germain-la-Ville)
PK 21.6     Lock 7 (Saint-Germain-la-Ville), water
PK 21.4     Saint-Germain-la-Ville quay r/b, village 500m r/b
PK 20.4     Vésigneul-sur-Marne bridge, small village r/b
PK 17.8     Pogny bridge, quay d/s r/b, village r/b
PK 17.1     Turning basin l/b
PK 16.9     Railway bridge
PK 16.6     Omey bridge, village r/b
PK 16.4     Pipeline crossing
PK 16.2     Private quay r/b
PK 15.1     Lock 6 (Chaussée-sur-Marne), water
PK 14.5     La Chaussée-sur-Marne bridge, quay u/s r/b, village r/b
PK 13.5     Bridge (Bois de Marne)
PK 12.0     Ablancourt bridge, quay u/s r/b, village r/b
PK 11.5     Lock 5 (Ablancourt)
PK 9.2     Lock 4 (Soulanges), bridge
PK 8.8     Soulanges basin, quay, water and electricity, village r/b
PK 8.0     Bridge (Bayarne)
PK 5.7     Private bridge
PK 5.5     Quay r/b (cement works)
PK 5.4     Bridge (Villers)
PK 4.8     Lock 3 (Couvrot), water
PK 4.4     Couvrot bridge, quay u/s r/b, village r/b
PK 3.7     Lock 2 (Ermite), bridge, water, turning basin d/s
PK 2.7     Disused quay r/b (former cement works)
PK 2.3     Lock 1 (Vitry-le-François), bridge, water
PK 2.2     Saulx aqueduct
PK 1.9     Junction with original line of canal through Vitry-le-François (navigable for 0.7km)
PK 1.4     Bridge (N44)
PK 0.4     Bridge (D982)
PK 0.0     Junction with Canal de la Marne au Rhin (PK 0.9)

Vitry-le-Francois junction plan