Nicknamed ‘Nelson’s Column II’, Britain’s largest load movement of a column box took place in early October as Air Products Plc (UK) transported the huge equipment from one site to another during a two-day operation.

At around 84m in length, the column box forms part of a large cryogenic air separation plant eventually bound for Ontario, Canada.

Using two 12 axle trailers, the large unit was transported 46 miles from Air Products’ manufacturing facility in Acrefair, North Wales to a site at Ellesmere Port on 11th October.

Given the massive weight and size of the column box and tractor units, the movement route and transport equipment were chosen because they had adequate strength to accommodate the imposed load. With safety a top priority, Air Products’ engineers worked closely with the Highways Agency and other interested parties such as the Police, local authorities and bridge owners, to get an official ‘all clear’ for the move.

Over the two-day operation, the load movement was escorted by five police cars and motorcycles, as well as vehicles from Cheshire City Council, Wrexham County Council and BT.

Coordinating the movement from Air Products, John Taylor commented, “We’ve been safely moving large load movements from Air Products’ Acrefair plant for many years, so we’ve got lots of experience to draw from. This is definitely ‘the big one’ though!”

The column box item moved by Air Products, whose liquid nitrogen also helps NASA space shuttles to get off the ground, is part of a large cryogenic air separation plant bound for Ontario, Canada.