The Heavy Lifting Crane at Earls Court


Significant progress has been made at Earls Court over the last few years including the demolition of the former Earls Court Exhibition Centres. We have now moved into the next phase of work on site, which involves preparing the site for the construction of new homes and the Lost River Park.

One of the biggest changes on site is the arrival of the Heavy Lifting Crane. It is a tried and tested advanced piece of machinery that will help us complete the final stage of site preparation by lifting the ‘portal beams’ above the London Underground lines that were below the former exhibition centres. Compared to other methods, use of the Heavy Lifting Crane reduces the time this work will take by two years.

The ‘portal beams’ are concrete structures which were used for the original construction of the exhibition centre. There are 61 portal beams spanning the London Underground lines which require removal. The largest of these portal beams weighs 1,500 tonnes which is the equivalent of 118 Routemaster buses. The Heavy Lifting Crane is capable of lifting loads weighing up to 4,000 tonnes.  

What to expect on site?

  • For safety reasons, the beams will be lifted out in night time ‘engineering hours’ when the London Underground lines are not in use. No other works will be carried out in these hours to minimise disruption.
  • At no point will the crane or any portal beams ‘oversail’ property outside the Earls Court site boundary.
  • The erection of the crane has been delayed by weather. Every planned lift will be subject to weather conditions and London Underground access being granted, so we cannot provide a definitive schedule. The planned lifting will start 20 March 2017 at the earliest and dates for March /April will be issued by the week commencing 13 March 2017, if not before. The overall programme for lifting the 61 beams is targeted for 61 nights spread across approximately six months. The Heavy Lifting Crane is due to be on site until the end of 2017 when enabling works will finish. 
  • We will continue to post updates on about site progress. We also open our project exhibition space, the Earls Court Project Rooms, on Empress Place every second Saturday of the month for local people to visit and find out more about the project and the work that is taking place on site. The next ‘Second Saturday’ open day is on Saturday 11 March from 10am-4pm.

How you can contact us

If you have any questions about these works, please contact our 24/7 Earls Court Information Line on 0330 333 1510 or e-mail the Earls Court Community Engagement team at


Heavy lifting crane