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31st October 2018



Ainscough Crane Hire’s Manchester Depot and the Heavy Cranes team, have combined resources to deliver a series of lifts to contractors creating the new £350 million 5.5km Trafford Park Metrolink extension in Greater Manchester.

Metrolink is Greater Manchester’s light-rail system which connects numerous neighbourhoods with Manchester city centre, other district centres and numerous leisure and cultural establishments in the region.

The Trafford Park link will extend the network by creating six new tram stops through Trafford Park – Europe’s largest trading estate which is home to 13,000 businesses – and calling close to the home of Manchester United, the Imperial War Museum North and terminating at the Intu Trafford Centre.

Working for the contractor M-Pact Thales(MPT) – a joint venture comprising VolkerRail and Laing O’Rourke in consortium with Thales – using a Liebherr LTN 1300-6.2, the Manchester Depot installed pre-cast concrete beams to form the new Pomona Viaduct which links the existing elevated line with the new grade level extension close to the River Irwell. A Kato CR 250 25-tonne city crane has also been on site proving various lifts in support of the development.

Meanwhile, as part of major engineering works to carry the line across the Bridgewater Canal at Park Way, the Heavy Cranes team used two Liebherr LTM1500-8.1 cranes to position new steel bridge beams during an overnight road closure.

The 29-metre long bridge beams were lifted in tandem by the two 500-tonne machines to create a bridge spanning the canal following the contours of the existing elevated highway.

Gary Rathburn, Depot Manager at Manchester, said: “This is another job where the breadth of our depot network and fleet has come to the fore for our customers. For major infrastructure works like these, our customers need to be able to rely on us to be able to deliver the lifts efficiently and be sure that we can provide solutions to the construction challenges they face.

“Our approach is to make the processes as easy as possible for them by providing them with a single point of contact to handle all their requirements despite us working across different depots.

“Metrolink is massively successful and the new line will make the region better connected and help reduce road congestion.”

The Trafford Park line is due to open in 2020.

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