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24th June 2021


Ainscough Crane Hire has once again demonstrated its skill in delivering railway infrastructure projects by completing a pivotal upgrading project of a railway bridge above the River Ebbw, which runs adjacent to the A467 in Crumlin, Wales.

Funded by the Department for Transport, the £5m investment saw the removal of the existing superstructure and the installation of a new superstructure, with Network Rail delivering the associated track design and track installation. This work forms part of the wider Ebbw Vale Frequency Enhancement Scheme, funded by the Welsh Government, to enable a more frequent rail service on the Ebbw Vale line in the future.

AmcoGiffen was tasked with the design and build of the new bridge and appointed Ainscough Crane Hire to carry out all lifting duties on the project.

Ainscough deployed a 750t Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 telescopic crane using Variobase to deliver the main lift. The lifting had to be undertaken close to the river whilst maintaining operational use of the A467, a strategic trunk road to Newport. The solution was to create an earth retained crane platform that could offer structural support for the crane whilst displacing the load away from the existing retaining wall for the River Ebbw.

Ainscough worked as part of the team to remove and replace the existing bridge so a wider deck could be fitted, allowing two railway lines to run across the bridge. Ainscough coordinated all the lifting operations to remove the four steel-plate arch girders and dismantle the steel decking. The team fitted 26 new pre-cast cill beams to reconstruct the sub-structure and were then able to install the new steel bridge of four plate girders and steel decking. The structure was demolished and reconstructed in a total of 68 individual lifts following ‘just in time’ construction methodology tailored around the site layout and limitations.

In addition to the main lift, an early engagement process saw Ainscough appointed by AmcoGiffen for use of all subcontractors on the job, covering demolition, civils, and steel fabricating. Ainscough, led by appointed person Patrick Denby, undertook a series of site meetings to identify any potential clashes on site, which were then discussed and eliminated.

The entire operation took place over eighteen twelve-hour shifts, and the efficiencies generated by early engagement and advance planning meant the work was completed ahead of schedule.

Ivan Ellis, major projects manager – Heavy Cranes, Ainscough Crane Hire, said: “Our work at Crumlin Road is a valuable demonstration of the importance of clients bringing in a crane hire team during the early stages of project planning. By the time we were in position on site, we’d managed to address various issues that could potentially have slowed down the completion of the removal and installation process. The fact that we were fully integrated with AmcoGiffen and the wider supply chain meant we were able to maximise efficiencies and enhance safety, resulting in the project being completed ahead of time.”

Photo and video courtesy of AmcoGiffen

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