Muckleford Yard

Today saw us return to Muckleford to complete the job started on Monday.

To complement the 1 in 3 concretes, we’ve replaced all single shoulder sleeper plates with double shoulder plates fastened up with Pandrol adaptors.

This should extend the life of the remaining timber for quite a few years.

We even unloaded a loo… hopefully more to come on that next week!!

While we were there with all the gear, we replaced another 4 failed timber sleepers, all under joints, this required the fishplates to be changed also.

After lunch we descended on the 1 / 2 road turnout, where some loose chair bolts and various other small faults were corrected.

One of those faults being a cracked chair under the heel block. A replacement was found and installed. The heel block itself is also cracked, however it’s in constant compression and captive, despite the crack. Given we didn’t readily find a replacement, the old one should suffice until the entire turnout requires renewal.

V/Line and their contractors have now completed welding in the insulated joints, which all look very snazzy and shiny.

This is a massive boost for the ongoing maintenance of the crossing and we’re extremely grateful this was included as part of the project. Hopefully next month will see the fitting of the flashing lights.

Tomorrow, we’ll be getting back to the new turnout at Castlemaine, if all goes to plan we should get a fair bit of it fixed down. Meeting Castlemaine Yard from 8.30am

No workday Tuesday 22nd June

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, there won’t be a workday tomorrow (Tuesday).

However today saw V/Line and their welding contractors make a solid start at welding in the insulated joints at Bendigo Rd.

We even made a start on an extra job which popped it’s head up over the weekend, a fractured rail in 1 road at Muckleford needs replacing.

When we checked to make sure the sleepers were good enough to take a cross bore for a new rail, we decided it was time to replace the whole high leg of this short curve and install 1 in 3 concrete sleepers, as the overall timber condition was not great. It was also found the adjoining rails weren’t in as new condition, so we’ll replace the whole high leg with one single 40m rail to remove the joints in the curve.

We had planned to be working here tomorrow finishing it off, however due to some unforeseen circumstances, we won’t be running a workday tomorrow, hopefully this will now become Thursday’s job.

Castlemaine Yard

Laying out point timbers was today’s task.

It’s a job that always takes a while, as the accuracy of the timber spacings is directly related to the ease of construction and quality of the end result.

The digger does 99% of the heavy lifting, but a bit of crowbar work finishes the job nicely.

It’s all very quickly looking very smart.

Hopefully next week will see us very close to having the straight portion of the turnout completed, the curved bit might wait a few more weeks, getting the turntable reconnected is a slightly higher priority currently.

It almost seems a shame that we have to ballast it and hide all our good work.

Check back here Monday afternoon, but the plan is that we’ll be full swing into turnout building from 8am here on Tuesday, with more later in the week.

Castlemaine Yard

About the only time we saw the sun today was first up, quite welcome during the morning chill.

Today saw us start the rebuild of the Turntable road inside the compound gates. As per the rest of the road it’ll be fully concrete sleepered and filled to rail height to all for the roadway.

First job today was converting old 6 hole 80lb fish plates into 4 hole plates (as 6 holers are too long to work with concrete sleepers at joints).

Once we’d finished the ground work, it was onto laying track.

We’re using up the most awkward of the full profile concrete sleepers around the yard, saving the newer style sleepers for the mainline.

While the track was being assembled, Rolf was busily setting out the location of the new turnout. Hopefully we’ll make a start on that tomorrow. It might look like it’s all heading in strange directions, but trust us, it’ll work out eventually.

Tomorrow, we’ll be meeting here from 8.30am.