Rail possession case study – Gravesend Station
Ainscough Crane Hire provided a one-stop lifting solution for infrastructure engineers, Spencer Rail, on a service-critical railway station remodelling contract at Gravesend, Kent. The works were delivered as part of the Southern Train Lengthening Programme: a major Network Rail investment programme to increase capacity on busy commuter lines into London.
For this contract lift, the construction was delivered over a 15-day rail possession – between the 22nd December and the 6th January – in order to minimise the disruption for commuters. The works included building an extra platform at the station and track realignment to accommodate the ever-increasing capacity to London. The new platform needed to be long enough for 12-car trains, which also meant extending the existing two platforms. In addition, the team also removed the existing footbridge and water tower and installed a new footbridge, with lifts serving all platforms.
The Gravesend station remodelling scheme won the Best Large Project of the Year award at the Railway Industry Innovation Awards.
The expertise of Ainscough’s team was a key contributor to the successful completion of the project. Through early design intervention, Ainscough’s team of dedicated contract lift managers were able to drive efficiencies through the development programme, saving the contractors a considerable amount of money in the process. This was achieved with a thorough assessment of the lift requirements, determining the correct cranes required to perform each lift for the required weight in the space available. Their work was supported by the CAD team, which produced detailed drawings of the site, strategically positioning the cranes on site.
As part of the routine safety first approach, a series of site visits were undertaken prior to works starting to inspect ground conditions and to ascertain any other safety requirements. Throughout the duration of the project, Ainscough provided site management, QHSE support and specialist crane engineers to help ensure cranes were continually in operation.
Offering a complete range of contract lift services and the largest fleet of contract lift, mobile cranes, crawler cranes and mobile tower cranes for hire in the UK, our reputation of operating fully maintained and serviced equipment, plus a dedication to delivering results, gave Ainscough the edge over the competition for high-pressure jobs such as this.
The work was carried out over the Christmas period and therefore required a 15-day blockade. A full contract lift service was provided with 5 cranes that included a 500 tonne all-terrain mobile crane, a Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1 and four 200-tonne all-terrain cranes, LTM 1200- 5.1, along with 15-20 skilled personnel working 24 hours a day, all complying with Network Rail Personal Track Safety training requirements.
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