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Ainscough Crane Hire supports Network Rail following Carlisle derailment

Ainscough Crane Hire was enlisted by Network Rail as part of the operation to clear a key railway line in Cumbria following a derailment, once again demonstrating its expertise in rail recovery.

Just after 8pm on 19 October 2022, the 17:15 Clitheroe to Carlisle Yard freight service derailed at Petteril Bridge Junction, near Carlisle.

The freight train involved was formed of a Class 66 locomotive and 14 loaded cement wagons. Five of these wagons derailed. One of the derailed wagons subsequently entered the River Petteril.

No injuries were caused by the accident, which led to substantial damage to railway infrastructure and some of the vehicles involved. The passenger lines from Newcastle to Carlisle were blocked as result of the accident.

Network Rail appointed Ainscough Crane Hire to undertake the task of removing the three remaining stranded cement tankers from their resting places.

This included a B&Q warehouse wall, with one also upside down in the River Petrill and a third completely on its side.

The latter two wagons required support from Rope Access Technicians in order to be lifted out and rolled over on a timber mat supplied by Network rail.

Ainscough’s Heavy Cranes team deployed a 800t crane, planning a 50t lift with appropriate safety factor. A 100t rigging crane was used to assist with the set up. This crane was installed on unstable ground in an old railway siding with appropriate mats used to ensure safety.

Ainscough’s crane operators were Marcus Hirst and Andy Walls, with Jason Roberts on the rigging crane.

Matt Baxter was lift supervisor with Darren Jackson, David Richardson, Gary Carter, Dave Hodgson and Nigel Lindley as slingers.

Ross Chappell, Heavy Cranes technical manager said: “We have developed a strong working relationship with Network Rail over recent years, and we’re always ready to support when called upon. When we heard about this derailment, we were firstly relieved that no one had been hurt. Following that, we set to work on developing a solution to safely and efficiently remove the carriages.

“We used the 800t when we worked on a recovery following a train collision in Salisbury last year, and it was again perfect for this job. Once the crane was installed and the lifting began, everything went very smoothly – helped in no small part by the weather being on our side!”

The train line officially reopened at the start of December.

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