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7 Most Epic Transport Operations In History


Certain large pieces of machinery or equipment require major transport operations to move them across cities, countries, or even seas. It’s no easy task transporting such large loads, and each person and piece of machinery involved in completing these epic transport operations all play a major role in completing the task successfully. Some massive objects which have required epic transport operations are:

  • A nuclear reactor,
  • A space shuttle.

It’s not easy moving big equipment, but when you have the right team and tools to do it, the transport can be pulled off flawlessly.

Here are 7 of the most epic transport operations in history.

1. The Muon g-2 magnet: During the summer of 2013, several scientists participated in the transport of the Muon g-2 magnet. The magnet was being used in the Muon g-2 experiment, which would analyze and explore the muon, a subatomic particle that has a total life span of 2.2 microseconds.

The massive magnet was 50 feet wide and took 35 days to transport. It was transported a total of 3,200 miles, both by land and by sea.

The magnet was transported with a specifically designed truck which had a 45 ton metal apparatus.

The whole operation costed a total of $25 million. It was a very complicated mission, but was completed successfully.

2. The Space Shuttle Endeavour: This retired space shuttle from Nasa’s Space Shuttle program traveled over 115 million miles in space.

After 20 years of flying, the shuttle was mounted on the back of a Boeing 747 and transported to Los Angeles to become a museum piece at the California Science Center. The Boeing was specifically built and modified to be able to carry the weight of the shuttle.

After arriving at the airport, the 78 ton shuttle was transported through the streets of Los Angeles to its destination. Over 400 trees had to be cut to fit the size of the shuttle, and several power lines also had to be cut off.

The whole trip took a total of 2 days to reach the California Science Center, and ranged over a 12 mile stretch.

3. Mirrors For the World’s Biggest Telescope: Two massive mirrors were transported across 120 miles to one of the largest telescopes in the world. The team consisted of policemen, engineers, astronomers and heavy transport specialists.

The transportation operation took 5 months to prepare, and it involved loading up the two 16 ton mirrors into a massive 33 ton case.

They were transported on 48 wheels and at one point even had to go up a 30 mile winding mountain road.

The mirrors traveled 120 miles at the speed of 9 miles an hour. It took two days to complete the whole mission.

4. Harriet Gas Turbine: This massive 800 ton turbine weighs almost as much as a Boeing 747. It has enough energy to power over 600,000 houses. The convoy that was used to transport this massive turbine was roughly the size of a football field.

The turbine was transported a total of 205 miles from a factory to a power plant.

The convoy transporting the turbine was 358 feet long and 22 feet wide.

The transport of the turbine was done in several different stages, and people lined up for days along the streets to witness it.

5. Nuclear Reactor: This 1,048 ton nuclear reactor was transported through steep desert hills and narrow roads over a course of 683 miles. The transport operation was particularly difficult because of the winding roads the nuclear reactor had to be moved through.

The nuclear reactor was placed on 2 hydraulic trailers and was led by six trucks in the front, followed by 4 trucks.

Upon reaching the certain difficult roads, the positioning of the trucks had to be changed to 6 trucks following behind and 4 trucks leading the way.

The trucks and trailer were all mechanically connected, which increased braking and traction capacity. This resulted in limited movement.

6. Bagger 288: The Bagger 288 is a mining machine and bucket-wheel excavator built in Germany. It is used in coal mines. At 330 feet high and ranging the length of almost 2 football fields, it is one of the biggest machines in the world.

In 2001, the machine had to be moved to a different coal mine which was 14 miles away. It was discovered that it would be cheaper to transport the machine rather than dismount it and re-construct it.

Despite the distance of only 14 miles, the transport operation took over 33 weeks. It crossed a river, highways, roads and railways. The transport occurred at just 33 feet per minute.

The whole transport operation team consisted of 70 workers. The machine was so big that it needed 5 drivers to transport it.

7. Sea Platform Troll A: The heaviest structure that has ever been transported over water is the Sea Platform Troll A, which is an offshore natural gas platform.

Most of the structure is under water, and the entire platform is over 300 feet high. It is one of the highest transportable structures to have ever been built.

The platform, located near the west coast of Norway, took 5 days to transport at a rate of 1.15 miles per hour

The platform was buried 120 feet into the sea and is now responsible for producing almost 10% of all the gas in Europe.


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