Following the introduction of the Kirow Crane to the UK market, track engineers have become familiar with this specialist plant and, in turn, have been able to look at how they plan track renewals with more efficiencies than ever before. As their use has developed through versatility, so has the size and complexity of the track layouts, from small single switch panels to large complete crossing panels exceeding 18m x 6m and 45t in weight. Renewal campaigns that could never have been considered in the time frames before are now available through the introduction of Balfour Beatty Kirow cranes.
There has always been the misconception that rail plant can be used only on rail projects and this is just not the case. Balfour Beatty Kirow cranes can also offer other sectors of the rail industry, such as civil engineering works, the great benefits of a high-powered self-propelled crane. One major advantage is that it can lift and carry loads in excess of 80t. This capability – subject to any site restrictions – enables the Balfour Beatty Kirow cranes to install bridge sections, transformers and radio masts in remote and restricted locations without the need for costly temporary road ways, road closures or large mobile cranes.
Some examples of these operations include:
- The installation of a 35t transformer erected over a mile away from the nearest public highway. The alternative here would have been a temporary roadway, possibly constructed across a wild meadow. Not only would there be considerable extra cost, but also a damaging impact on the natural local environment
- The installation of a number of four track signal gantries above the OLE on the West Coast Main Line where mobile crane access was restricted due to the surrounding ground either being occupied by buildings or part of a wet land. Site access and possession times can be a lot leaner with the Kirow crane
- The removal of a redundant grade 1 listed footbridge inside King’s Cross station. The site was restricted by under-track subways and a listed roof canopy. The Kirow offered greater lift control than other methodologies might offer
- The installation of ten bridge decks in Clapham Junction during a 120-hour possession. Two Kirow cranes were used working in unison, one on either side of the bridge. This site again was completely rail-bound with no chance of access by mobile crane
- The installation of several precast concrete bridge beams over a sewer on the East London Line upgrade. The Kirow crane was moved to site by road as a section of track was not connected to the rail infrastructure.
Balfour Beatty Kirow cranes can also provide lifting solutions and project solutions to some of the following:
- Pre-cast platform extensions where the components are delivered to site ready to be lifted in short possession opportunities
- Installation of radio masts where mobile crane access is restricted
- Installation of remote footbridges with limited disruption to the network in overnight possessions.
Another area not extensively explored with the Kirow in the UK, is the recovery of de-railed rolling stock. Whilst it may not always be possible to use the Kirow for this work because of damaged infrastructure, if it is possible then the savings in both time and cost could be considerable. Think of not needing to spend days building a roadway and erecting the road crane, but just being able to arrive, set up, pick up the load, carry it to a place of safety and leave the site. The result is less impact on local landowners, lower cost, and less disruption to the general public.
For further information, please contact Cliff Saxon at:
Tel: 0115 921 0466