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Monday 28 March 2011

Threading The Needle

Those artics that you see rumbling up and down the country’s motorways might look big and heavy. But they pale into insignificance when the real heavy hauliers come along: some firms serve the distribution chain, while others deal with the niche stuff, meaning having to shift 120 tonnes at a time.

Yes, 120 tonnes, and this is meat and drink to the folks at outfits like Allelys, whose skills can be seen on display in the Crewe area regularly. The reason that we see so much of them is that it is sometimes easier to move railway locomotives and rolling stock by road, especially if the item concerned is not fit to use the rail network.

Slowly up the depot approach ...

Operator DB Schenker sold off many surplus locomotives recently, and with some not having seen regular use for some time, the simplest solution was to have them hauled away. After all, their journey will end at a specialist scrapper – the last roundup – who isn’t interested in making them fit for network use.

... squeeze around the right turn ...

But it isn’t such a straightforward exercise: getting loaded up outside the former depot at the south end of Crewe station isn’t difficult, but the long and heavy load has to be rolled up the depot approach, then around a tight right angle turn at the top, before heading off to the M6.

... and away into the traffic

These photos show the experts at work, as they remove another 120 tonnes of unwanted locomotive. Forget mere artics – this is real heavy haulage.

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