This monster crane is about to start some serious lifting at the Earl's Court development

Helen Cahill
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The old exhibition centre was knocked down to make room for housing (Source: Getty)

The largest crane in London is about to start lifting the concrete beams which used to hold the Earl's Court exhibition centre above the London Underground lines, making way for the 8,000-home development at the site from Capital and Counties Properties (Capco).

The monster-crane will be working throughout this year (Credit: Capital & Counties Properties)

The crane has been brought in from its last job in Turkey and was built over a period of six weeks by two, smaller, cranes. Its base (not visible above) is roughly two football pitches in size, and at 120m high, the crane is taller than two Nelson's Columns stacked on top of each other.

The material from the demolition of the old Earl's Court exhibition centre was packed into containers and is now being used as a counterbalance for the crane.

Read more: Earl's Court to undergo biggest redevelopment since 1890

The engineering marvel, which was designed and made by specialist firm ALE, will start lifting at the end of March, and is only permitted to work late at night.

But don't worry: this crane can see in the dark. Minimal flood-lighting will be required because the crane will be pre-programmed with the movements it will make. Keltbray, the contractor partnering with Capco on the Earl's Court development, will oversee the lifting.

Capco is encouraging anyone interested in the crane to come along to one of its monthly open days at the Earl's Court Project Rooms.

David Rowe, technical manager at Keltbray, said: "By utilising this crane and lifting method, disruption is minimised and the crane's high capacity and precision lifting technology will reduce the overall project timescale considerably."

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