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Replacement of three old RHB steel bridges by ETE crane logistics

Alpine crane job with lack of space

Not far from the fashionable spa and resort town of St. Moritz in the Swiss canton of Graubünden, a Liebherr LR 11000 crawler crane has installed a 176-ton railroad bridge. This most powerful crawler crane in Switzerland belongs to the logistics and transport company EMIL EGGER AG and got the job done at an altitude of just under 2,000 meters in the Alps - with an unusual setup configuration due to lack of space. In total, three aged truss bridges of the Rhaetian Railway were replaced by the Liebherr crane.
Rhaetian Railway replaces three old steel bridges - EMIL EGGER takes over crane work
Replacement of three steel bridges for the Rhaetian Railway

To replace three railroad bridges, each about 100 years old, Michael Egger, Managing Director of EMIL EGGER AG, headquartered in St. Gallen, transported his 1,000-ton crawler crane to southeastern Switzerland. The work on the first bridge structure was particularly challenging: Due to the tight crane footprint available directly on a paved embankment to the adjacent road, the use of the derrick boom with its suspended ballast had to be dispensed with.

“In order to nevertheless ensure sufficient stability when lifting the new and significantly heavier railroad bridge, we had to maximize the central ballast on the crane as compensation for the suspended ballast,” explains Egger, who planned the operation together with his colleague Andreas Schönenberger. In advance, he had coordinated the load case in this unusual setup configuration with the specialists at Liebherr in Ehingen: “As standard, the LR 11000 is equipped with 90 tons of central ballast. We have now packed 130 tons into the crane for this application after Liebherr gave us the OK for it.” The turntable ballast was equipped with the maximum counterweight of 250 tons.

“To the limit of the payload table”.

Before the new steel structure, around 35 meters long and assembled on site from several segments, could be placed, the old bridge structure first had to be removed. The 65-ton truss structure was quickly lifted off the abutments and set down on the edge of the mountain river, right by LR 11000. Later it was repositioned again for removal. The crawler crane was then able to lift the new bridge from the special transporter on the road and position it at a cantilever of around 22 meters above the river. “With this outreach and a gross load drop of 205 tons, we are just scraping the limit of the load table for the crane in this particular setup configuration,” Egger says.

The LR 11000 was erected and dismantled by a Liebherr LTM 1250-6.1 mobile crane from Sabesa SA, a crane and transport company based in Ticino. Andrea Saccomandi, Managing Director of Sabesa, the actual contractor for the replacement of the three railroad bridges, was personally on site for the crane job. Headquartered on the northern shore of Lake Maggiore, the company’s portfolio includes crane work, transport and platform rental, and its fleet includes around a dozen Liebherr mobile, compact and mobile construction cranes.

About Liebherr-Werk Ehingen GmbH

Liebherr-Werk Ehingen GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers of mobile and crawler cranes. The range of mobile cranes extends from a 2-axle 35-ton crane to a heavy-duty crane with a 1,200-ton lifting capacity and a 9-axle chassis. The lattice boom cranes on mobile or crawler trolleys achieve lifting capacities of up to 3,000 tons. With universal boom systems and extensive additional equipment, they are in use on construction sites all over the world. 3,800 employees work at the site in Ehingen. Comprehensive, worldwide service guarantees high availability of mobile and crawler cranes. In 2021, a turnover of 2.33 billion euros was generated at the Liebherr plant in Ehingen.

About the Liebherr Group

The Liebherr Group is a family-run technology company with a broadly diversified product range. The company is one of the largest construction equipment manufacturers in the world. However, it also offers high-quality, benefit-oriented products and services in many other areas. Today, the group comprises more than 140 companies on all continents. In 2021 it employed more than 49,000 people and generated total consolidated sales of over 11.6 billion euros. Liebherr was founded in 1949 in Kirchdorf an der Iller in southern Germany. Since then, the employees have pursued the goal of convincing their customers with sophisticated solutions and contributing to technological progress.

Professional Crane logistics

EMIL EGGER ranks in the top 20 of German-speaking crane service providers

Fast, flexible and professional – that’s our motto. We can be reached 24 hours on the hotline +41 71 282 52 20 and are available in all regions of Switzerland. Thanks to our powerful crane and special transport sector, we are always ready for action. EMIL EGGER is also the only Swiss company to rank among the top 20 German-speaking crane service providers. Our diverse fleet includes mobile cranes, crawler cranes, mobile construction cranes, special cranes, truck cranes and mini cranes.

Crane logistics

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