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18th June 2020



Ainscough Crane Hire has played a key role working with LGUK and J Murphy & Sons in the complex removal of an ageing railway bridge in Stockport over the recent bank holiday weekend.

The footbridge on Thomson Street, Stockport is above Network Rail’s Manchester/Stockport to Alderley Edge line and was being replaced by J Murphy & Sons, along with other supply chain partners. The operation took place in one short 15-hour track possession as part of a vital emergency removal.

This essential work formed part of the Manchester Bee Network plan – a vision to make Greater Manchester an easier place for people to get around on foot or by bike – and was carefully planned by all involved.

Ainscough worked with LGUK, Murphys and other stakeholders to make sure there was minimal disruption and all activities were carried out safely. This scheme will provide a high-quality pedestrian and cycle link improving the infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians along with car-free links between Edgeley and Stockport town centre, via the rail station and connecting with the proposed Stockport Interchange bridge.

Over the course of the bank holiday weekend, Ainscough utilised a 100t crane to build the CC2800 crawler crane which was used to lift the old railway footbridge out. The weak structure required 22.0te of specialist tackle, designed to ensure the bridge was supported along the full span and could be lifted successfully. The lifting tackle was designed, manufactured and supplied by LGUK.

The completed work once the new bridge has been installed will ensure that the pedestrian/cycle access route is safe to use for the Manchester Bee Network.
Dave Baxter, Ainscough Crane Hire’s Heavy Cranes technical manager said: “We’re very proud to have played our part in the team on this project through solution engineering. Great care was required to lift the bespoke lifting tackle into place and then lift the bridge out due to the close proximity of the rail overhead lines. The outcome is a real testament to the usual experience, drive, engineering and planning skills of J. Murphy & Sons.”

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