HomeNews CER Consortium places a 414-tonne beam across the railway track with four cranes

CER Consortium places a 414-tonne beam across the railway track with four cranes


On 26 January, CER Consortium lifted a beam weighing around 414 tonnes over the railway and placed it on the corresponding support. The work was performed during the train-free period at viaduct Noord, near the APM Terminals at Maasvlakte II. This was not an easy job and required thorough preparation.

Viaduct Noord is approximately 600 metres long. The civil engineering structure crosses three railway tracks at the location of the support on which the beam was to be placed. This support consists of two pillars topped by a beam of about 22 metres long, 2 to 3 metres high and 2.8 metres wide.

200126 - Plaatsing Ligger Kunstwerk Noord -25

Hoisting, driving it in or making it on-site?

We initially had three options to install this beam across the railway track:

  • Making the beam off-site and driving it in. This option was discarded because there is a switch in the route and there was a good chance that it would be damaged.
  • Making the beam off-site and then sliding it across the pillars into the correct position.
  • Making the beam on-site (across the railway track).


The last two options were too complex involving many risks that were almost impossible to control.

Hoisting with four cranes

The idea was raised to make the beam off-site and hoist it into place using four cranes. After consulting our partner Sarens Nederland, this idea was further elaborated.

The new plan became:

  1. Make the beam off-site at a preparation location.
  2. After the concrete has been poured and cured, lift the beam up and remove the temporary supports.
  3. Drive the transport vehicles of Sarens (SPMT) underneath it.
  4. Create a temporary bridge across the railway track.
  5. Move the beam lying on the SPMT over about 100 metres via a ramp and drive it onto the temporary bridge.
  6. Lift the beam with four cranes and place it on the pillars.
  7. Remove the temporary bridge.

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