Construction on the Chartres Bridge in Essone, near Paris. This work was done by by Colas Rail on behalf of the RATP. (Photo: François Bouriaud/ Colas Rail)
Photo special

“Little Celeste” crane at work on Operation Chagall

Construction on the Chartres Bridge in Essone, near Paris. This work was done by by Colas Rail on behalf of the RATP. (Photo: François Bouriaud/ Colas Rail) Colas Rail

SNCF Reseau and RATP are renewing two bridges in Essonne, in the Île-de-France region. The aim of this 116 million euro project, nicknamed operation ‘Chagall’, which started in 2020, is to improve the performance of RER lines B and C. This large-scale project will require the use of a crane twice the size of the Arc de Triomphe.

The following photos, taken by François Bouriaud, on 25 July 2023, have been shared with RailTech.com courtesy of the railway infrastructure company, Colas Rail. Colas Rail has been involved in the Chagall project since last year, working on behalf of RATP on the Chartres Bridge.

Little Céleste

Their replacement involved Sarens's SGC-90 Electric Ring Crane nicknamed "Little Celeste.". With a height of 100 metres and a total weight of over 4,544 tonnes, it is one of the world's largest cranes. The crane was handled by a Sarens team. The crane will be completely dismantled in September.
Their replacement involved Sarens’s SGC-90 Electric Ring Crane nicknamed “Little Celeste.”. With a height of 100 metres and a total weight of over 4,544 tonnes, it is one of the world’s largest cranes. The crane was handled by a Sarens team. The crane will be completely dismantled in September.
"Little Celeste." It was transported from Indonesia to the port of Rouen requiring extensive preparatory work.Two auxiliary cranes were installed on site to enable the main crane to be erected: one with a lifting capacity of 900 tonnes and a boom length of 78 metres, and the other with a lifting capacity of 135 tonnes and a boom length of 70 metres.
“Little Celeste.” It was transported from Indonesia to the port of Rouen requiring extensive preparatory work. Two auxiliary cranes were installed on-site to enable the main crane to be erected: one with a lifting capacity of 900 tonnes and a boom length of 78 metres, and the other with a lifting capacity of 135 tonnes and a boom length of 70 metres.
Work began on the construction of a wall on the embankment to free up the space needed to erect the crane last year. This retaining wall also required the construction of 22 piles. Installation of the crane then began in April 2023 and was completed at the end of June.
Work began on the construction of a wall on the embankment to free up the space needed to erect the crane last year. This retaining wall also required the construction of 22 piles. Installation of the crane then began in April 2023 and was completed at the end of June.

Colas Rail

The first part of the work was carried out last year, between July and August, with the removal and reinstallation of 300 metres of running track to create the foundations for the future structures. This summer, preparatory work began in June.
The first part of the work was carried out last year, between July and August, with the removal and reinstallation of 300 metres of running track to create the foundations for the future structures. This summer, preparatory work began in June.
On the weekend of 14 July, they laid 600 metres of track in a 34-hour operation. A second lightning operation will take place from 10 August to lay 800 metres of track and ballast, as well as tamp, stabilise, and weld for 84 hours.
On the weekend of 14 July, they laid 600 metres of track in a 34-hour operation. A second lightning operation will take place from 10 August to lay 800 metres of track and ballast, as well as tamp, stabilise, and weld for 84 hours.

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Author: Emma Dailey

Emma Dailey is an editor at RailTech.com and RailTech.be.

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