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A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Most barges are non-self-propelled and need to be moved by tugboats towing them or towboats pushing them. Barges contended with the railway in the early industrial revolution but were outcompeted due to low speed and falling costs of rail transport. Barges are still used today, as the cost of hauling goods by barge is very low.