Ainscough cranes clear up train crash

After two passenger trains collided on the approach to a tunnel near Salisbury station, UK, on 31 October 2021, Aincough Crane Hire was contracted to provide urgent lifting solutions to assist in the clear up.

Five carriages were lifted onto lorries by an 800 tonne capacity heavy crane

The company was contacted by Network Rail mere hours after the crash, and were requested to attend the site first thing the following morning. Ainscough’s technical contracts manager for heavy cranes, Dave Baxter, travelled from the North West of the UK and was in Wiltshire by 7am to meet the Network Rail team.

After it was confirmed that the five carriages that had to be removed from the tracks could not be jacked or lifted by a rail crane in isolation, Ainscough prepared a lifting proposal that would see an 800 tonne mobile crane in conjunction with a rail crane recover and remove the rail carriages.

Carriage removal

Upon approval of the proposal from Network Rail, Ainscough began to mobilise the 800 tonne crane from its previous job site near Rochdale, to enable it to rig up with an assist crane on a closed section of the A30 London Road in Salisbury.

The five carriages were lifted onto lorries where they were transported to The Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre, prior to being unloaded by additional Ainscough cranes ahead of further inspections.

The operation was completed on Sunday 7th November, with the cranes having derigged by Monday.

Andrew Spink, heavy cranes operations director for Ainscough Crane Hire said: “This is the sort of job we hope we never have to work on, as doing so means there has been an incident which has put people’s safety in danger.

“Such incidents are thankfully rare in the UK, but we as a business stand ready to support our colleagues in the rail industry whenever we are needed.”


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