Crane company Clausen, based in Brig, Switzerland, used a Liebherr LTR 1060 to help extend a tunnel on the Gornergrat railway high up in Zermatt in the Swiss Canton of Wallis.
The Gornergrat railway is the second-highest mountain railway in Europe. It is being extended to accommodate a new downhill ski run that is being added to stage International Ski Federation (FIS) skiing events.
The site of the tunnel build is 2,020 metres above sea level. To get to the site, the crawler was transported on a low loader to an altitude of 1,840 metres above sea level. Once here, company owner Geri Clausen manoeuvred the crane the final 920 metres to the site.
Challenges along the route include gravel tracks with tight bends and gradients of up to 40 %, a spokesperson said. To prevent the crawler tipping over along the route, calculations to determine its centre of gravity (CoG) were carried out. As a result, the crawler travelled without ballast and at a gross weight of 38 tonnes, a spokesperson said. In addition, the boom was angled at 20 degrees and the hook block was secured. To manoeuvre the crawler around the tight bends, one metre lengths of square timber were placed under the inner crawler chains to act as pivots, a spokesperson added.
Another challenge was keeping the temperature of the gearbox and rollers down along the route. To achieve this, the oil level was slightly lowered in the gearboxes. This also helped to reduce splashing losses caused by the oil being swirled around, a spokesperson added. It took two hours to complete the journey.