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When contractor Balfour Beatty Rail introduced its 100t capacity Kirow crane to the railway in 2001 it was eight times bigger than any other piece of lifting plant on the network. The colossus was brought in to speed operations such as crossing and switch replacement, which can now be prefabricated and lifted into place as complete items. Previously they had to be assembled insitu from a number of smaller, lighter components by 12t cranes.