money, muscle, spades, shovels
n.b. The network of canals linking England’s industrial towns are a testament to human endeavour. The time, capital and effort required to engineer them is staggering to contemplate.
The experience of the navigators in constructing these soon redundant waterways, was more efficiently deployed in building the infinitely more complex railway system.
Travelling along these sinuous navigations, even for a few days, cannot fail to provoke wonder at the folly of mankind, prepared as he is to reshape nature herself in pursuit of commercial gain; a path that is inexorably still followed today.