Even today, 200 years after the invention of the first usable locomotive, the railway continues to play a decisive role when it comes to transporting people and goods from A to B. Maintenance and the development of the track network are fundamentally important to smooth operation as delays are not only annoying, they cost money too. For this reason, 80 years ago, the company Kirow in Leipzig began developing railway cranes. These ‘multi-task’ cranes truly can be used for a multitude of tasks. After accidents, they can retrieve locomotives and cars, remove rubble and replace damaged switches and tracks. They can also quickly and reliably be employed for cutting back overhanging trees, re-railing train cars or moving track.
The alert reader will no doubt be asking at this point why many of these tasks could not simply be handled using a conventional street crane. The answer lies in the usual adverse operating conditions: often the area is unpaved, there are no access roads, or the stretch of track is cut off by a tunnel or obstruction such as pylons, pillars, overhead wires or signal equipment. What we need, therefore, is a crane which is perfectly suited to a rail environment and brings the following characteristics to the table: ready-to-use quickly, high-performance capacity and exceptional manoeuvrability. All these factors are united in the Kirow Multi-Tasker Railway Crane. In a train, this crane can reach speeds of up to 100km/h and due to the very short set-up time, the crane is ready for use within 15 minutes. The crane carries its own counterweight directly with it or on a nearby car.
Due to its own considerable weight and a load torque which is seven times higher than standard street cranes, it is possible to manage loads safely, even at significant outreach. At the same time, the crane’s centre of gravity always remains over the tracks. The geometric design of the counterweight of the small crane types and the double slewing ring on the large cranes enable profile-free working.
As a hoist rope, the Kirow Railway Cranes use rotation resistant CASAR Eurolift ropes. Because of the opposing double drums configuration, the Lang lay right and left ropes are used. DIN 3091 solid thimbles serve as end connections. Depending on the type of crane, the cranes spool between one and four layers. In all, there are currently 7 different performance classes of Multi-Taskers, capable of varying load capacities. The number in the name indicates the maximum load torque of the crane, meaning that while the KRC 100 reaches a load torque of 100Tm, the KRC 1,600 achieves 1,600Tm. Incidentally, the abbreviation KRC stands for ‘Kirow Railway Crane’. The most common rope diameter on the Multi-Taskers is 24mm while the length varies by crane type. Now around 30 cranes from the Kirow company are bound for the international market, and for which CASAR was able to supply the hoist rope. Here too, ‘Made in Germany’ cranes and ropes are providing for a clear track ahead.