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Balfour gets five new crawler cranes for Blackfriars station

Balfour Beatty has taken delivery of five new crawler cranes to work on its £275M Thameslink station project at Blackfriars in London.

BPH Equipment, a division of Balfour Beatty Regional Civil Engineering, bought the Kobelco CKE700 cranes, all of which have a lifting capacity of 70t.

BPH Equipment managing director Graham Booth said: “The cranes will be positioned on a bridge over the River Thames and operate adjacent to a live railway. Since they will remain in position for service and maintenance as well as operation for over two years, safety and reliability is of paramount importance.”

The cranes use biodegradable oils and come complete with new safety features, including computer systems that can be set to restrict slew, boom angle and hook height, cameras to aid the operator’s all round vision and load monitoring, and travel limiters and locks.

After being shipped from Japan to BPH Equipment’s depot in Barton on Humber, the five cranes underwent final adjustments and inspections before being delivered to the site in London.

Balfour Beatty’s Blackfriars contract will run until late 2011. The new station will be able to handle 12 carriage trains at double the frequency currently possible on the Thameslink network.

The project involves demolishing the existing station and building a new one on the rebuilt Blackfriars Bridge - the first station to span the Thames. It will have a new roof over the entire platform length.

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