Sarens’ SGC90 crane, Little Celeste, is being used to replace the century-old rail bridge sections in Massy as part of the modernisation of the French national rail network.

The first step, completed this month, has involved the removal of the old bridges, the Pont de Chartres for RER line B and Pont de Gallardon for RER line C. Each weighs 468t.

Sarens' Little Celeste is being used to remove the old bridges and install the new ones

In the second phase, which begins in August, the two new bridge sections will be lifted into position. The new bridges weigh 1,375t (Chartres) and 949t (Gallardon) and have been preassembled on the other side of the road.  The bridge sections will be transported closer to the SGC-90 by SPMTs.

The two new bridges are designed to allow the passage of faster and more efficient trains along the two Paris lines that are used by a total of over 1.5 million people daily. The comfort of local residents will also be improved, with a reduction in traffic noise and vibrations.

Little Celeste landed at the Port of Rouen from Indonesia and was then transported via road in 220 trucks to Massy. Tadano AC 100, Liebherr LR1200 and Terex CC2800 cranes completed the assembly of the SGC-90 with a 100m main-boom configuration in eight weeks.

Sarens senior project manager Dirk Vinck said: “It was very challenging to assemble the crane in the limited area available. The ground was prepared with mats to adjust the ground bearing pressure.” He added: “To maintain safety during the project, heavy tackle, weighing a total of 260t, was used to connect old and new bridges to the crane hook.”

Sarens has worked this month on the first phase of the project, involving the dismantling of the two old bridges. The SGC-90 lifted the two bridge sections and set them down on self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs). The SPMTs then drove the old bridge sections to an area where they were taken away for scrapping.