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Rail possession case study – Brumber Hill Bridge

Ainscough Crane Hire provided two complex contract lifts to mark the commencement of Network Rail’s Trans Pennine Electrification Project, which electrified the passenger rail line between Manchester and York.
Rail possession case study – Brumber Hill Bridge

Project Overview

Among the works delivered was a project to replace two bridge decks a quarter mile from one another on the outskirts of York. The bridges at Brumber Hill Bridge and close to Bolton Percy both carry the highway and pedestrians over the railway.

The railway possession took place during a limited 54-hour closure of the railway, over Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

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The meticulous preparation was required ahead of the railway possession. Numerous site visits were carried out by Ainscough’s technical manager, Dave Baxter, to ensure precise plans were made before the lifts as no errors could occur during the short 54-hour closure.

The complexities and limited space available at both locations meant that rigging up the crane was one of the most intricate elements of the project. At Bolton Percy, assembly of a 1,000 tonne all-terrain crane, a Liebherr LTM 11000, Ainscough’s Transport Department sent a convoy of 30 trucks with the ballast. Due to space limitations on this contract lift, the counterweight had been loaded onto the truck in a specific way that left minimal room for manoeuvre and no space to store the ballast whilst on site.

The heaviest section of the bridge weighed 90 tonnes, and the mobile crane was configured with a 36m boom and 200 tonnes of ballast on board. When installing the final piece of the bridge, there was a gap of just 50mm between the new bridge and the front of the crane. At the Brumber Hill site, in preparation prior to the rail possession, a 25 sqm platform had been built specifically for the contract lift, in order to safely accommodate Ainscough’s Terex CC 2800-1 crawler crane. The platform provided a stable lifting pad, which was close enough to safely remove and install the new sections of the bridge.

Further Details

The two bridges play an important role in the local community in the York area, carrying a farm access road and a local lane over the Leeds and Normanton rail lines. The Ainscough team worked to challenging timescales on these complex lifts to ensure the lines were handed back on time and prior to any planned train services following the Bank Holiday. The project reported no incidents or accidents during our activity.

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