Point timbers

Today saw us install a further 10 point into Maldon yard.

The three turnouts just past the down end of the platform were the recipients and quite rightly so seeing they see the most use.

With the mess all tidied up the job looks quite nice, it should mean we don’t need to do any emergency repairs in the yard any time soon (allowing us to keep focusing on other things).

We also replaced and tightened a few fishplates in the loco road, which were getting quite bad.

Next week we’ll be loading and shipping material off to Castlemaine ready to start work laying track in the carriage shed extension. Tuesday will be an odds jobs day at Maldon loading and sorting materials. Meeting 8am

Spiking up

In what was a rather simple day of spiking up the 142 sleepers inserted yesterday, we still had a few challenges to make the day interesting.

First was the alternator (just out of view here) decided to give up the ghost on Tuesday afternoon. Unfortunately the brittle hoses the connect to the vacuum pump also gave up during the changeover which meant no truck for a few hours today. But no to worry, a quick transhipping of tools to the yellow truck and we were in business.

Then was the frost issue (both trucks took some time to defrost, unfortunately it turned out it was not really required on this truck).

Then was the glorious job of setting up all the gear in the freezing cold! 1 degree at this point.

But what a stunning day it became! 10/10 for a glorious winters day.

The only real change in our usual process has been the addition of some drill extensions with quick change adapters on the end, much easier on the back and much simpler to change bits.

The mighty spike driver, hasn’t run for some time but sprung straight to life like it was used yesterday!

The gauger was used on about 1/2 the sleepers replaced, although whereas we were once adjusting 10-15mm we’re now only tweaking a few mm to achieve perfect gauge.

The afternoon saw the gang break into two, working from opposing ends gauging and drilling, it helps to prevent everyone getting too close and improves productivity greatly.

The gang on the run back down the other leg. This is a good example of how social distancing is almost automatic on our gangs, at no point does anyone need to invade another social bubble.

Today actually marks the end of our timber sleeper cycle from Muckleford to Maldon, obviously we still need to tamp and tidy up, but hopefully next time the gang’s back here replacing timbers it’ll be with concrete!

Tomorrow will be at Maldon, with point timbers in our sights for the morning at least, there’s several starting to show their age. Meeting Maldon station from 8am.

Timber Sleepers

The last couple of days has seen 142 timber sleepers renewed (almost) on the approach to Maldon.

We still need to actually fasten them up, tamp and tidy up etc… But this week’s work gangs should see this rather long running project come to an end.

We have also replaced 8 point timbers in the 2/3 road turnout at Maldon.

A mixture of new and second hand timber was used, just enough to ensure it’ll hold together for a few more years until we can consider an upgrade.

Still to tamp and tidy up but otherwise complete.

We even a very long lesson from John on how to secure the padlock on the container first time with ease… Unfortunately a little perform anxiety crept in with the gang watching, by chance the speed board you can see behind him pretty well aligned to the number of minutes he spent on the task.

We’ll be into it again tomorrow, meeting at Maldon 8am or near Woodlocks Ln crossing shortly after.

Odds and Sods

We began the day finishing off the last 13 timber sleeper replacements. That only took us through through to Morning Tea.

We spent the rest of the day tending to rail breaking in Castlemaine Yard to allow for construction of the car park. A few rail posts for door stops were also cut.

The bigger news if the almost completed state of the carriage shed extension.

It looks enormous! And hopefully helps put into perspective the need for all the recent works and alterations to the track work.

Next week we should be back into some real work, with re-sleepering any failed timber in the last km into Maldon the plan. Tuesday will be a workday, starting 8am at Maldon.

Timber Sleepers

Well to complement the good work of installing the 1 in 3 concretes, we really need to replace any failed timber sleepers before we can call the job done.

Which is exactly what today was.

69 failed sleepers from curve 8 to Pyrenees Hwy were replaced.

The majority seemed to be at joints. Unfortunately prior to fitting anchors we experienced just enough rail creep to position a bolt perfectly above the screws preventing access to the screws for removal.

The easy answer is to just cut the screw head off, which what we can see Rolf doing here.

As the sleepers were well spread out it was easiest to work from the truck rather than using our usual array of trollies.

All of the 69 installed have been spiked up and the majority already tamped.

Tomorrow will be a bit more of the same before we head to Castlemaine to help out with a few jobs for the project there.

Meeting Brown Street Ped Crossing around 8.15am.

Timber Sleepers

Well to complement the good work of installing the 1 in 3 concretes, we really need to replace any failed timber sleepers before we can call the job done.

Which is exactly what today was.

69 failed sleepers from curve 8 to Pyrenees Hwy were replaced.

The majority seemed to be at joints. Unfortunately prior to fitting anchors we experienced just enough rail creep to position a bolt perfectly above the screws preventing access to the screws for removal.

The easy answer is to just cut the screw head off, which what we can see Rolf doing here.

As the sleepers were well spread out it was easiest to work from the truck rather than using our usual array of trollies.

All of the 69 installed have been spiked up and the majority already tamped.

Tomorrow will be a bit more of the same before we head to Castlemaine to help out with a few jobs for the project there.

Meeting Brown Street Ped Crossing around 8.15am.

Castlemaine

Today we finished off the urgent re-timbering in Castlemaine Yard, only one more timber installed but a fair amount of gauging and cross-boring was required.

The end result looks pretty snazzy. We do still need to tamp these, however with no trains running there isn’t a great rush.

The shed’s still going along at a great pace, it’s starting to look like it’s almost ready for cladding.

The afternoon was spend removing the fastenings between Midland Hwy and Winters Flat Bridge ready for the concrete sleeper treatment.

Early next week will be a bit all over the place with a few other commitments cropping up, there won’t be a workday on Tuesday but should have some activity on Wednesday if anyone’s at a loose end.