Client: Hochtief Murphy Joint Venture

Project Name: TBM-­Mary De-­Installation

Project overview

The aim of the project was to increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, cutting down journey times across the city by linking east and west London transport routes. Transport tunnels were to connect Plumstead to North Woolwich, while linking the existing North Kent rail line to the Crossrail. Crossrail Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport For London (TFL) had been given the task of delivering a new route at a project cost of £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west right through new twin-bore 21km tunnels below Central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.


Through a competitive bidding process, Lifting Projects UK secured the provision of contract lifting services for the de-installation of Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Mary at the company’s North Woolwich site. Having already installed the TBM at Plumstead where the works began, Lifting Projects UK had an extensive background knowledge of the work involved and, therefore, was equipped with the necessary expertise to conduct the job successfully. The scope of works, based at the North Woolwich site, was to plan and manage the lifting of HMJV’s second 1000 tonne TBM out of the launch chamber. When fully constructed, the TBM extends to over 100m in length. Due to the nature of the project, the team needed to work in closely with Hochtief Murphy JV and the TBM manufacturer Herrenknecht to ensure the safe and timely de-installation of the TBM.

Our Approach

Led by Lifting Projects UK Operations Director, Chris Turner, a team of four specialised personnel worked on-site during the four-week contract. Working from our detailed selection of drawings and method statements, the team provided the specialist heavy lifting equipment required to complete the project. This equipment consisted of a Saren’s Liebherr LTM 11000DS mobile crane, rigged on 56.4m main boom c/w 31.5m Derreck mast and 100 tonne counterweight tray, rigged on 11.3m riggers and capable of lifting 102 tonnes @ 28m radius.

The team positioned the crane at the portal end to enable them to remove the various TBM sections valued at around £1m per unit with the use of a temporary works propping structure. Lifting Projects UK worked with Hochtief Murphy JV in gaining approval from Network Rail for our de-installation methodology, which proved to be a success.

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