One of the UK's largest cranes passes under Forth bridges after epic journey

68-metre Goliath squeezed under the road and rail bridges as it was delivered to Rosyth Dockyard.

Goliath: The boat was weighed down to make sure the large cargo fitted underneath the bridges.
© Deadline

One of the UK's largest cranes slowly made its way under the Forth bridges near the end of an epic 14,000-mile journey from China to Fife on Thursday.

The boat, specially built to carry the $20m crane, dropped anchor west of the Rosyth Dockyard where it will berth on Friday.

Goliath, at 68-metres, is taller than the Wallace Monument and will play a vital role in the assembly of the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers at the Babcock Dockyard.

Sean Donaldson, Babcock’s project director for the aircraft carriers’ construction, said: “This is a major landmark for Babcock in the aircraft carriers project.

“After watching the Goliath crane being fabricated, it was fantastic to see it coming under the Forth bridges and I look forward to welcoming it to its new home in Rosyth.

“The Goliath crane is an essential element in Babcock’s commitment to completing the assembly of the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince of Wales.”

The crane has a span of 120 metres to cover the construction area of the aircraft carriers. It has the capacity to lift 1,000 tonnes and has been two years in construction by Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery (ZPMC).

Geoff Searle, director of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance Programme, said: “This is yet another important milestone for the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.

“The Goliath crane will be the largest structure of its type in Europe and will dominate the skyline in Fife.

“The crane is a vital element in the programme to build both the QE Class aircraft carriers because the ships are being constructed in such huge sections, so we needed something capable of lifting up to 1,000 tonnes.

“It will be great to see the crane in action as blocks of the ship start to arrive in Rosyth in the months to come and HMS Queen Elizabeth starts to take shape.”

The crane is being delivered partially-erected, with the girder and upper sections of the legs already assembled.

The tallest cranes in the UK are Goliath and Samson in Queen's Island, Belfast. Goliath stands at 96m while Samson is 106m tall.

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