With a long track-record of delivering rail projects, and a 5-star RISQS (Railway Industry Supplier Quality Scheme) rating, Ainscough Crane Hire has welcomed the focus Rail Safety Week is bringing to the sector.
An annual event, Rail Safety Week is an industry led initiative focussed on highlighting rail safety for all rail users. Whether that is workers within the rail industry, or rail passengers, rail safety affects us all. Rail Safety Week aims to address, engage and promote rail safety bringing the subject to the forefront of people’s minds across a dedicated week of activity. Those activities are delivered under the banner of “Making it Safer Together”.
Working in partnership with leading names in the rail industry, health and safety conferences, site briefs and school safety events will be held across the UK in order to promote the importance of rail safety to each and every one of us.
“Ainscough’s work in the rail sector has safety at its core, it’s about much more than just wearing orange.” Explains Dave Berry, Group QHSE Manager. “Some of our most complex projects have been delivered for rail clients and the approach is one of preparation and ‘no surprises’.
Rail work is generally complex requiring a multitude of activities and contractors to work seamlessly together as Dave explains. He said: “Performing lifts on rail possessions is something of a different animal to delivering a lift on a general construction site. First of all, the timing tends to be out of standard hours with most work occurring at weekends or evenings. Keeping the tracks open for as long as possible is vitally important to minimise disruption to services. This also means that deadlines are critical.
“We will often work on a lift window of just a few hours. The level of preparation which goes into a rail lift is right up there with the most detailed lifts we perform.
“Weeks in advance we will have a team working out the detail of lifts in minute detail. Method statements and risk assessments are prepared well in advance so that everybody knows exactly what to expect when it comes to the day of the lift.”
Among Ainscough Crane Hire’s recent rail possession works are:
• A major infrastructure upgrade in Ashton-under- Lyne. Working for main contractor Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, which was delivering the works for Network Rail, Ainscough’s team spent a number of days on site.
The project, which required a 23-day closure of the station, is part of the North West Electrification Project, which will see over £1bn invested across the North as part of the national Railway Upgrade Plan. The work involved rebuilding the railway bridge over Turner Lane and replacing and realigning over two miles of track.
• Installation of the first steel span making up the ‘skylink’ bridge, which will connect the interchange with Bolton railway station, was lifted into place by a 750 tonne crane from Ainscough Crane Hire.
The span is 3.6 metres high, 3.8 metres wide, 20.1 metres long, weighs 30.5 tonnes and oversees the interchange’s bus apron.
The construction of the bridge is being carried out by Murphy Group, under the project management of Network Rail, on behalf of Transport for Greater Management (TfGM).
The UK’s leading lifting solutions company, Ainscough Crane Hire, has added a brace of new mobile tower cranes to its nationwide fleet: a Liebherr MK 140 and a Spierings AT6.
The six-axle Spierings model is the largest mobile tower crane in the world. It is the only unit with a fifth extendible jib section which, combined with the four other jib sections, delivers an unrivalled radius of 60 metres.
The Liebherr MK140, meanwhile, is prized for its ease of assembly and ability to operate in tight spaces; making it ideally suited for urban lifts.
Operations Director of the Heavy Cranes Division, Andrew Winter, said:
“Both cranes are popular with customers and the operators who use them, the applications are very diverse, we are pleased to add more capacity to already the best-maintained and diverse crane fleet in the country.”
“It was therefore the right time to make new investments in the fleet and add to what is the only true national crane fleet in the country, the new mobile towers are available for hire now.”
The Queensferry Crossing will be officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Monday September 4. This follows a ‘soft’ opening to traffic which took place earlier this week. The events will mark the completion of a momentous journey which has involved 15,000 people and over 18 million hours of work.
Among the vast array of contractors working on the £1.35 billion project, were a dedicated team from Ainscough Crane Hire which was involved in the project from its very earliest stages.
For five years, Ainscough staff, principally from the Falkirk Depot, have provided lifting services to the main contractor, Forth Road Bridge Contractors (FCBC) on the Transport Scotland project.
To mark the opening, 50,000 people will walk across the 1.7 mile long bridge prior to its permanent traffic opening on Thursday September 7.
Ciaran McNamee, Ainscough’s Depot Manager at Falkirk said: “Now it is complete, we can all reflect on the enormity of the project and the remarkable addition the bridge makes to the skyline.
“It is an understatement to say that we are proud to have played a part in its construction. Scotland is world-famous for its engineering ingenuity and as this bridge demonstrates, we still have the skills, vision and capability here to achieve great things.”
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