Night lift for Weldex 550 tonne Kobelco on the railways

By Alex Dahm26 February 2009

A 550 tonne capacity Weldex Kobelco SL6000 on a Docklands Light Railway upgrade project in east Lond

A 550 tonne capacity Weldex Kobelco SL6000 on a Docklands Light Railway upgrade project in east London, UK

Crawler crane rental specialist Weldex in the UK has put to work 550 tonne capacity Kobelco SL6000 crawler cranes in east London. The work, for P.J. Carey (Contractors) Ltd., was installing the main structures for a new railway bridge on the Docklands Light Railway being built by Taylor-Woodrow (TWC) at Canning Town, London.

The main lifts were to place the main pre-cast concrete abutments and two 55 m long pre-fabricated steel span beams, each weighing 110 tonnes, onto the abutments. Work had to be done at night because of the need to close and isolate the railway line.

In addition to having limited time, the job was made difficult by restricted space and confined accessibility of the site for a heavy-duty crane with adequate reach and capacity. "It was a tight squeeze but, with careful planning between TWC, Carey and the Weldex team, the Kobelco SL6000 fitted the job perfectly," said Andy Housden, Taylor Woodrow Construction deputy project manager.

With only 5 m of clear tail swing in a tight corner, it was possible to rig the extra 200 tonnes of suspended counter weight of the super heavy lift configuration, with 72 m of main boom.

The remaining bridge assembly was done in daylight where the lighter supplementary steel cross-members weighing between 4 and 7 tonnes each were installed using a faster single line, and standard counterweight.

This section of the DLR upgrade is part of an overall £350 million programme to increase capacity and will be completed by April 2010.

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