The ‘Lift’ is a product and a statement of Sotran engineering: no self-respecting Tellion engineer, or overseer as they call themselves, would have used such an excess of steel. It is built like a dam, and the waters were redirected from the main flow to fill it. Barges that approach downstream enter a compartment that is adjacent to one that is used by barges that approach upstream. When the two barges are locked within the structure, a valve is opened near the bottom of the wall that separates the two compartments and the water rushes through, lifting a barge and lowering one simultaneously. The barges will eventually come to an equal level, and the valve between them is closed and the valves that open to both upstream and downstream are opened and the water levels raise the barges to their desirable levels.
The advantage of this mechanism is twofold: there is no need to pump any water, and it moves the barges quickly between upstream and downstream routes. I have included a diagram below to show how it works.
All of these can be merely observed from the outside, but what I am interested in is how water is kept within the chambers without leakage. The pressures involved must be enormous indeed. I must make a note to ask around when I get back.
p.s. Perhaps, if you are interested to know more about machines, you can send a letter to Farsis of the Academy. Ask what you want to know and tell him that I recommended you.