Samson and Goliath are twin shipbuilding gantry cranes situated at Queen's Island, Belfast, Northern Ireland. The cranes, which were named after the Biblical figures Samson and Goliath, dominate the Belfast skyline and are landmark structures of the city.
The cranes are situated in the shipyard of Harland & Wolff, builders of the RMS Titanic. The cranes were constructed by the German engineering firm Krupp, with Goliath being completed in 1969 and Samson in 1974. Goliath stands 96m tall, while Samson is taller at 106m. At the time Harland & Wolff remained one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, with the yard's eventual demise some years off. The announcement that they were to be built was an important event at the time. It signalled that one of Northern Ireland's largest employers was to expand at a time when the country's Troubles were raging, and subsequently inward investment was at a low.
Each crane has a span of 140 metres and can lift loads of up to 840 tonnes to a height of 70 metres, making a combined lifting capacity of over 1,600 tonnes, one of the largest in the world. Prior to commissioning, the cranes were tested up to 1,000 tonnes, which bent the gantry downwards by over 30 centimetres. The dry dock at the base of the cranes is the largest in the world measuring 556m x 93m
In October 2007, Goliath re-entered service after five years, an occurrence described by a company spokesperson as underlining the yard's growing workload #Belfast #cranes #figures #gantry #Goliath #Harland #landmark #Northern_Ireland_Biblical #Queens_Island #RMS #Samson #shipbuilding #skyline #structures #Titanic #twin #Wolff