Why can't we build Panama Canal in hills?

Why can't we build Panama Canal in hills?


Smh could be a lot more efficient if they just returned them go downhill like a water slide


I mean we could go even further and use a big cannon to shoot the ships from one side to the other


or just dig a trench through the continent at sea level


This should be an option once nuclear weapons are developed.


[Project Plowshare](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Plowshare) wonder.


Yields +3 science -2 food -27 faith


This doesn't give you a canal through a continent, it just creates more continents


Jesus 🤣


No, but Moses could do it, I bet.


In the real world the Pacific and the Atlantic have a height difference where the Panama canal is, so just digging a ditch doesn't really work


well it would just have a strong current


that absolutely destroys everything you try to build. They literally tried that


Did they try starting the digging in the middle?


Actually that was the revolutionary idea they had was starting at both ends and working towards the middle. All the stuff you're blasting away runs on train cars running down hill


But isn’t it just a one meter height difference spread out across the entirety of Panama.


Or have the eagles carry the ship over.


What if the eagles unionise though?


man, I had a rough night and I just hate the fucking eagles okay?


get out of my fucking cab!!


Is this a reference to something? I feel I'm missing out on something really funny.




Thanks man


That's the most American thing I've heard today


Thanks - I’m especially proud of it given I’m not American 🙃


Be silent! Keep your forked tongue behind your teeth!


I like the way you think


Until a freighter jams the barrel for a few weeks


Meh, it’s nothing more explosives can’t fix


Good idea. In general there should be RNG on passing canals. 1 in 100 can damage the ship and block the canal


Has the Suez ever been blocked before? If not, made it 1/1m and whoever is unlucky enough it just soft locks their pc


5 times actually


What we could do is put little air cannons on the side and some fins that we might call wings and the ships can efficiently lift off and glide to their end destination?


The Panama Cannon DOES sound better...




If it works for salmon it can work for ships!! https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/08/29/344360634/the-salmon-cannon-easier-than-shooting-fish-out-of-a-barrel


A one-way canal slip-n-slide?


You'd have to pump a ridiculous amount of water constantly to the top of the hill, instead of just moving it from one lock to the other. The most efficient route would be to carve a sea level canal through the enteire isthamus, hill and all!


Going sea level was the original French plan. Basically Suez 2.0. It failed miserably. Some of the ringleaders were sentenced to jail over it including the Ferdinand de Lesseps and Gustave Eiffel (but didn't serve time). I wish the Panama canal provided lock canals to build over hills in addition to the one big wonder. Maybe have the lock canals cost extra movement


Why were people sentenced to jail?


We have the best infrastructure because of jail. Can't deliver a canal? Jail. Build canal too slow? Right away to jail. Build too fast? Believe it or not, jail. You build canal too narrow? Jail. Too wide, too narrow. Jail.


Reply to reddit comment? Jail!


Probably something to do with the thousands of worker deaths.


Massive corruption scandal, so massive that it was a threat to the stability of the 3rd Republic, bunch of politicians were involved.


But the efficiency! Shouldn't be too hard to nuke our way to a nice flat canal!


Why did it fail tho


The peak of the earliest path was attend 200 feet above sea level. The French got started on the cut and it ended up getting reduced by the final project but looking back it doesn't look like going sea level was really feasible Another reason was the Chagres River that ran right through the path. I don't know if they ever had an answer for this one. Going sea level meant this river could pour over the edge into the canal. Erosion would run the canal quickly. The river was eventually dammed which is why there's a big lake in the middle of the canal The biggest reason the French failed and the canal nearly didn't happen was disease. Malaria and yellow fever. 22,000 died of disease between 1881 and 1889. By the time the US took over in 1904, the mosquito theory was formed and, though the theory was controversial, implementing mosquito population controls made a major difference The Wikipedia article on the canal construction is solid. I also recommend The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough if you really want to get into it


Yeah but now that we have nuclear bombs to use as land-clearance should be much easier.


Yeah, definitely turning it into a river rapids ride wouldn't be feasible, but maybe have rollers on the downwards sections. IDK why locks *don't* do this actually. Obviously the ones near me (on the Thames) are fine as they are, but I'd have thought that one of the most heavily-used commercial/industrial canals would try to make passage thru it as speedy as possible. I guess roller slides would wear out way too quickly if they're being used by large freighters? Or maybe it'd be too much work getting them out of the water and onto the rollers (though [I think this would probably work](https://i.imgur.com/cZm6hyJ.png)).


The wheee is what really sold it


Hahaha, thanks.


Why don't they just sail around the Americas and avoid the canal all together? Q


because it's just a tiny detour, a 5 month one :D


It only takes a modern cargo ship about a month to sail around Africa. So it would probably be about the same to sail around South America.


I was referring to why they built it in the first place, but fair point!


or have a conveyer belt bring the ship up like those water rides in amusement parks


Yea but a river needs a continuous water source.


Because the hills in Panama are a low rise of a couple hundred feet, and presumably Hill tiles in Civ represent more of a “foothills of the Rockies” kind of situation. The Panama Canal cuts through pretty much the least hilly part of Panama.


Would be nice to unlock the ability to make canals on at least sea cliff tiles later in the tech tree. Seems kinda silly that there are zero improvements to canal technology over the course of the entire game.


You should be able to make them as long as you want too.


we can't even harvest "strategic" resources. Like Horses and Iron get redundant quickly, but they're still there and block a tile which could be 10x more useful


Horses should become luxury or bonus resources once all the horse-consuming units are obsolete. Surplus iron should turn into gold. Of course, this would be better suited to my idea for an overall Global Market where Tier 3 governments automatically add surplus resources to the global market. Alternating with the World Congress, the Global Market meets and you can bid GPT on resources. Civs contributing a surplus gain gold proportional to their contributions. You can use a policy card "Dig A Hole And Bury It" to block your resources from appearing on the global market, but you can't buy from the market either. The goal of the Global Market would be to make it less of a game-loser to not have spawned any oil/coal/aluminum/uranium in your territory. You could still manipulate the market to make it very expensive by removing your improvements and buying up other civ's surplus before the Global Market meeting.


I hope a dev read you comment. This would be perfect for keeping old resources relevant in social way across the map. Yeah the iron is being sold into the void, but being able to vote to tank the price of void iron when you have none would feel great!


Surplus iron should improve production of armored / industrial naval units by at least 15-20%


Why don’t modern units like ships and tanks cost coal/oil AND iron?


For game balancing. Yes, in the real world basically all modern machinery relies on steel, but if you got a bad spawn and there was no iron in your territory you would be screwed not only in the early game, but the whole rest of the game as well.


Wouldn't that add an additional element of strategy, planning, and – well – an impetuous for either diplomacy or war?


As the game is now, it would basically require early conquest. If we add resource requirements to units based on the real world, almost all military units past bows and spears would require something. The ai is less likely to trade with you and be friendly if you have a weaker military, and not having iron would potentially cap you at archers and warriors. You can't trade resources per turn right now AFAIK, and the ai tends to spend their strategics as fast as they can. Trade with the ai would be tricky and unreliable. Because of this, if there was simply no iron near you before your opponents get to men-at-arms you'll have a very hard time for the entire game. That's still possible now, but basic units don't have any resource requirements, and advanced units require different strategic resources. This means there's usually a couple units you'll be able to build in the future.


I would prefer that iron stays relevant as a strategic resource throughout the whole game. I mean, it's not like the civilizations stop using iron after renaissance, I'm pretty sure those tanks units we train are not made out of wood.


Yeah but that makes an iron shortage game breaking.


Oh man this would add a whole other level to the game, would love this.


I’ll build my own northwest passage. With blackjack, and hookers


Not only are they never improved, they come so late, too. Medieval and possibly even classical civilizations had canals, why are they locked to the industrial era? I understand that's when they became "easy" to make but they should really be available earlier, with a higher production cost to build.




Yes, that's represented by 'irrigation', which it predominately was at the time. Then 'canal' is 'real' modern shipping, such as Erie Canal and the one in Liverpool, etc. But the game should be more flexible as a fun builder type experience, ie, longer canals, great walls for everyone, artificial islands, DIY wonders in late game, etc.


Yeah but the game isn’t a sand box and needs balance. Though I would agree it would be fun to have those when I’m trying to have a sim city experience.


Ships really weren't that big until post-industrial anyway, having a pre-industrial tech canal for pre-industrial ships isn't much of a stretch.


I mean, the Erie Canal was arguably more of a wonder of architecture. It’s longer and cuts through the Appalachians. I’d also made the Great Lakes capable of trading in the Atlantic


TIL- wow! I'd heard of it, and more or less knew its route. I assumed it was like the C&O canal, which actually opened 7 years later, and wasn't a 'canal' in the modern understanding.


I encourage you to do your own research, but the Erie Canal has 35 locks and is 362.9 miles, which beats out the Panama Canal, which is only 50 miles long.


I read a bit- I'm quite impressed that it was done as early as it was. Hell of a big project. One of the other threads someone mentioned the Canal of the Pharaohs - an ancient Suez canal. Also mind blowing, but I can't find anything definitive on when it actually was first used, looks like ~600BC though.


Imo either the Panama or pharoah’s canal are much more deserving of being a wonder


Maybe they should add 'Canal of the Pharaohs' - a 2 tile canal over flat ground. Keep the 3 tile Panama canal, but allow hills.


The hills aren’t that high enough near the panama to warrant it though tbh


Not even "a couple hundred" just 85 (25.9m)!


I think that’s how high the water level of the canal reaches, but I think that the land they cut through reached a couple hundred feet. I haven’t been able to find an exact number.


That said, there are ways of engineering canals through hills, such as [this Aqueduct near Llangollen, Wales](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cd/Pontcysyllte_aqueduct_arp.jpg) or by using [Inclined Planes](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/Arzviller_plan_incline_01.jpg)


Now let's see one of those move a New Panamax freighter.


There's a canal in Wiltshire that [goes straight up a hill](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/Caen.hill.locks.in.devizes.arp.jpg) which is an amusing sight. Just one look of it and you think "okay, that's taking the piss right there" Ultimately the scale of the hills in the game is the question; it'd be silly to build a canal that goes up 5000 feet and then comes back down. But at the end of the day, this is a game and canals are often a waste of time and space as they are. Would allowing them to be built on hills really break the balance of them?


I lived right near it and it would take boats all day to get up the locks


there should be a tunnel below just for submarines. j/k




You jest, but [we're actually building a full size ship tunnel right now](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stad_Ship_Tunnel). Surface ships are allowed.


Lol the canal in Panama does not go through “hills”. The elevation at the inner lake (called gatun) is only 26m above sea level.


Yeah, I think that diagram might not be to scale...


Been there done that.


There really should be a Corinth Canal wonder that does exactly this. Place the wonder on a hill or mountain and have a second Canal district adjacent (one less than Panama’s 3). There have been so many games that that could have come in handy


Even flat land is not totally flat. Hills as a geographic type probably means notable hills in the terrain rather than just being slightly angled.


This animation wrongly shows that the uphill pool (lock is the correct terminology) doesn't lose any water when it is filling the downhill one. To get a more in-depth description on how this works check out the [video by practical engineering](https://youtu.be/SBvclVcesEE) [10:36]


Creativity is born from restriction. Limits on your in-game abilities is a feature, not a bug. Without placing limits on what you can and can't do, there would be no strategy (which is one of the main points of the game). Civilization is ultimately a watered-down simulation. There are many artificial limitations imposed upon the player, and I'd argue where you draw the line (in terms of realism) is more or less irrelevant as long as it improves gameplay. That being said, a cool idea for civ7 might be to have build costs that scale according to terrain. Like building a canal on hills will cost more than building a canal on flat land. Or building a holy site in the mountains might take significantly longer, but you gain a much higher adjacency bonus. Such a change could lead to some really interesting emergent gameplay.


I think the building options in the late game are already so restricted that they could open them up a bit?


The "strategy" with the panama canal is just to not build it


Hills in Civ implies something more than the gentle slope you see on the map. Think of hills as being like 1,000-5,000 feet high. Mountains being over 5,000 feet. And the plains/grasslands have elevation as well. Just basically anything under the size of a hill (even below sea level). Things would get too confusing if each tile had individual height levels and realistic logistics attached to it. If the Panama Canal was on a hill tile, it would take months to get one ship through. Actually, considering how time works in Civ and it takes a year for a unit to move, that might be accurate...


I just realized that a turn=a year...


And only in late game. In the early game, 1 turn is 20+ years.


Because that system of locks, which are an engineering marvel, only raise the ships 87 feet above see level across 51 miles of terrain. If it were actually a hilly region it would not have been feasible.


Hated programers logic when I wasn't able to connect two cities founded on hills (three flat tiles away from each other) through panama canal, but was allowed to build single tile canal districts to the ocean on both cities. Was trying to get the Sid Meier's Ditchdigging Simulator achievement.


Why can't we flatten or create hills? Moving dirt is one of the first things humans did.


Because no hill in panama


Been through the canals both Panama and Suez. The Panama is much more interesting engineering wise.


Sure- the Suez is just a long narrow ditch. Panama canal ships can actually pass each other (and turn around!) in the longest part. I bet the Egyptians could have built the Suez instead of the pyramids if they had had a reason. Actually I'd bet that if there had been any significant trade or maps of the area it would have been built long before it was.


They did, look up the canal of the Pharaohs.


TIL! - I guess I shouldn't be _too_ surprised, but very cool.


It’s like a lake in the middle not really the “longest part” but neat none the less. Both are definitely engineering marvels and the cost in human blood for both is a testament to that.


Both sides water levels are the same in this


I just want to be able to build normal canals as long as I want (plains only is fine)


honestly? yeah. it would be cool if its the ONLY way you can canal through a hill.


I’m curious as to why they have to do it that way


Because of the size of it


Or canals on hills in general https://www.reddit.com/r/civ/comments/dt4vg7/canals\_on\_hills/


I bet the Dutch built this somewhere


*angry mob noises*


Because the actual Panama Canal does not have this great of an elevation gain. Only has 50 feet of gain over sea level.


Wait you seriously want to build the Panama Canal? I just do it for memes like Venetian Arsenal.


It would be like one space per turn.


Never mind hills -- the Panama Canal should be able to go through mountains. It should provide hydroelectric power, too, considering the large dam it required.


LoL that’s a good Question 😆