Market leading national lifting solutions company Ainscough Crane Hire recently worked with J. Murphy & Sons to play key role in replacing an ageing railway bridge in Liverpool.

The bridge sat above both Merseyrail’s Southport line and the Liverpool & Leeds canal in Bootle. The operation took place while the station was closed for vital upgrades, including altering the height and width of station platforms and realigning the tracks, which is essential work to prepare the platforms for the arrival of new trains from 2020.

Ainscough worked with main operator Murphy as part of the work, which forms part of Network Rail’s Great North Rail Project (GNRP), a programme of improvements to transform train travel for customers in the North.

Over the course of five days, Ainscough used two smaller cranes to build the 800t crawler crane which was used to lift the deck of the new railway bridge into place. The completed work means that the bridge will be safe to use for the next 100 years.

Michael Smith, Operations Manager, Heavy Cranes said: “It was a pleasure to work with Murphy in replacing this bridge for Network Rail. The Great North Rail project will result in huge improvements for train travellers across the North, and our close working relationship with Murphy allowed us to deliver this project efficiently and safely at a time that caused minimum disruption to Merseyrail passengers.”


Ainscough Crane Hire’s Cambridge depot has celebrated its latest milestone achievement as part of its work for the A14 Integrated Delivery Team on Highways England’s Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement scheme.

The scheme forms part of the government’s £15bn Road Investment Strategy and is an improvements project worth £1.5bn currently its third year of construction that will improve the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon, which is well known for congestion and delays.

Ainscough has worked on numerous elements of the project since it began in November 2016, and most recently undertook a landmark role at Section 3 of the project, which covers the area from Huntingdon to Godmanchester, lifting into place the last bridge beams in the sector.

The last of the 11 bridges in this sector, New Barns Lane Bridge, was fitted with the concrete spans over which a new carriageway will be built. The 25m beams were fabricated by Irish firm Shay Murtagh and were lifted into place by Ainscough’s 750t crane over two days.

Over the course of a further three days, a total of six beams, each weighing 65 tonnes were placed on the abutments of the bridge.

The structure is expected to be fully complete this summer, when it will provide agricultural access over the new A14 and provide a link between Conington and the westbound carriageway of the A1037 Huntingdon Road.

Pete Wallis, Ainscough’s depot manager for Cambridge said: “It’s been a great pleasure for our team to work with the A14 Integrated Delivery Team over recent years, and as the project nears its final stages it’s satisfying to see more and more elements of the project reach completion and come into use.

“That’s certainly the case with the recent work at Section 3 – it was a proud moment to lift the final beams into place and we look forward to seeing the road be used by motorists later this year.”

The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme is being delivered on behalf of Highways England by a joint venture between Costain, Skanska, Balfour Beatty and designers Atkins-Jacobs. The new road is expected to open to traffic in December 2020.


Ainscough Crane Hire has assisted Select Plant Hire in delivering a world class service for five star London hotel Claridge’s, which is currently undergoing a refurbishment and expansion.

Located in London’s bustling Mayfair, Claridge’s is one of London’s most historic and internationally-renowned luxury hotels, and has been hosting guests from around the world since 1812.

Ainscough Crane Hire was appointed by Select Plant Hire as part of a refurbishment project that will see several new storeys added to the building.

The lift utilized a Liebherr 450t crane and took place over four days during a busy shopping period. The complex job involved guaranteeing minimal disruption to pedestrians, motorists, as well as local residents and businesses. The operation also involved close collaboration with the hotel, with certain rooms and facilities within the hotel being closed while the lift was taking place.

The point loadings in the 450t crane exceeded the weight the ground was able to take, with it having to be below 10te/m2. A rigging crane was therefore used to place the RLR mats before the main crane drove into place, with two operators delivering the successful lift.

The lift was captured by a BBC camera crew, with the broadcaster currently filming a documentary about the running of the hotel.

Bob Beardmore, Heavy Cranes Technical Manager, Ainscough Crane Hire said: “Lifts in central London always present challenges, but especially so when the job takes place during a busy shopping period. However, I’m happy to say that our team were able to deliver this lift safely and securely, enabling smooth progress on what I’m sure will be an excellent extension to this wonderful hotel.”