The crane is on hire from crawler crane specialist GH Johnson of Alfreton, UK for structural engineer William Hare, which is reported to be ahead of schedule on the seven-month, £7 million (€10m) contract for the design and installation of around 5,000t (5,600USt) of steel.

The steel will be used in a transfer structure at ground level over the route of a future underground tunnel to be constructed by Cross London Rail Links Ltd. A transfer structure has been constructed at podium level, above the area to be used temporarily as railway sidings during the tunneling operations, and will form the base for future commercial development.

The crane is equipped with 30.5m (100ft) of main boom and 60t (67USt) of counterweight and has the reach and capacity to be able to unload and stack, and also to lift and install all of the structural steel sections, some of which, such as the main vertical columns, weigh up to 60t (67USt) each.

Kobelco says the crawler crane is compact but durable, and can be rigged by two men in about three hours, without the need for an auxiliary crane for assembly.

This latest phase of the £30m (€44m) Paddington Central Cross Rail project is due for completion in March 2006.