Posted on 1st June 2016

2016 Infrastructure Innovator of the Year UK

2016 Infrastructure Innovator of the Year UK

Road Rail Cranes is a unique company who safely deliver rail infrastructure solutions through their fleet of highly innovative mobile cranes. We got in touch with Steve Williams, Managing Director, to find out more, and how they discovered their niche area of work.

Road Rail Cranes was originally set up to fill a gap in the market of railway infrastructure. When we spoke with Steve it became clear that throughout his career, he had significant experience working on both railway infrastructure and with cranes. It was this experience that helped him to identify a true gap in the market where they could, amongst other things, install signal and overhead line gantries in areas that were difficult to access.

‘It became clear that the industry would greatly benefit from a solution for heavy lifting when working on r infrastructure. So together with my experience with cranes, I came up with the idea of developing a bespoke solution that would allow a crane to work safely on and off track.’

Steve teamed up with Derek Hook and Ian Cross, and Road Rail Cranes became a reality.

‘What makes RRC unique is that our mobile cranes have adapted rail wheels, which means they can work on road and track. Our range of plant equipment means that we can offer a complete service which is more cost effective. Jobs can be completed within a short space of time, which is critical in this fast paced industry. ‘

Steve continued, ‘To give you an example of how we work, if a company hired a conventional crane, a number of issues would typically arise. Firstly, there would be the issue of access to the surrounding land – which generally incurs fees (from farmers / land owners), and a road way would need to be put in place using aluminium panels to provide access to the track. As you can imagine, this involves significant manpower and additional cost. Our solution is to access the area by using the rail wheels on the crane which has the net result of causing much less disruption, and work can often be carried out in a single shift. For more traditional heavy lifting companies, this process could take days or even weeks to prepare the ground and organise access.’

‘We have grown significantly in the last three years and as word gets out about the speed, safety and quality of our service, we are adding more and more cranes to our fleet and growing our customer base. We started out with just one AC40 All Terrain Crane and now have seven Rail Cranes (five AC40’s and two AC55’s) and more than forty full time staff members. We are proud that our client base is so diverse; from working directly with Network Rail to working with individual contractors, each job brings its own challenges. The range of work we can carry out is vast and includes installing gantries and footbridges to removing obsolete footbridges and replacing track panels.’

‘When it comes to working on projects, planning is paramount. Our initial meeting provides us with an opportunity to meet with our customers and scope the project. We then decide on the most appropriate course of action, plan the work in detail, and ensure that we have the right members of staff working on the project to ensure a satisfactory outcome. We aim to use the same team members on a project from its inception to completion.

We are scrupulous in our planning and project execution, and a post-project review helps us to identify any issues and how we can overcome these on future projects.’

‘We employ full time permanent staff, which means that they can see projects through to completion. It also allows staff members to become specialists in recurring projects or when working with specific clients. We have invested in a significant amount of additional plant, including sixteen Rail Trailers, a new Faymonville five axle semi low loader Trailer, and a new Cormach Lorry Crane. Our ancillaries include a Chieftain Trailer and a Matt Carrying Trailer, which means we can provide an all-encompassing service to our clients. Our latest venture is an AC100-4 (L) all terrain mobile crane, and four rail MEWP’s and two Long Reach Gigarailers which we will take possession of in Autumn 2016.’

‘We work all over the country on projects as varied as installing signal gantries in Cardiff, removal of station footbridges in Newport, and installation of a swing bridge in Selby, North Yorkshire. Some of our work can be a little more complex and requires months of planning, as when we worked on the prestigious Flying Arches project in Chorley – we removed temporary steel structure supports and reinstalled listed Stone Arches. We completed this project in 4 x 24 hours night shifts, ahead of schedule under very restrictive circumstances.’

‘We are very much looking forward to the future and all the challenges it will bring; our main focus is to make sure that our existing clients are looked after.’

Company: Road Rail Cranes Ltd

Name: Steve Williams

Email: [email protected]

Web Address:

Address: 31 Miners Road, Llay Industrial Estate, Llay,

Wrexham, LL12 0PJ

Telephone: 01978 852254