Staircase locks are used where a canal needs to climb a steep hill, and consist of groups of locks which open directly into each other. Foxton Locks are the largest flight of such staircase locks on the British canal system. Foxton locks today, are a popular tourist atraction.
In the late 19th century an inclined plane was built to the side of the locks. An inclined plane is another method of raising boats between different water levels, and works by having boats sail into large watertight "bathtub" type containers which are the dragged up or down hill on rails pulled by a stationary engine, and then when the top or bottom is reached the boats sail out at the other end.
The Foxton inclined plane proved uneconomic and was abandoned in 1909 although remains can still be seen. and there are plans to re-build it.