Tidy up and Bridge Work

Today saw us tidy up around Castlemaine and tamp most of the recent work.

We’ve got a few point timbers yet to squeeze up, which will be Monday’s task, before we take the excavator through to Muckleford for Bridge Work.

This afternoon saw the start of our 2023 Bridge program, with the relevant bolts associated with the first planned works loosened and prepared for removal next week.

Tomorrow’s gang will continue with this task from Muckleford Creek Bridge from 8.30am tomorrow.

Castlemaine Yard

Tuesday was a productive day, with another good few sleepers installed into 4 road and a couple of point timbers installed into the double compound.

To make inserting the timbers into the compound easier, we removed a rail from 5 siding, using pandrol clips makes this a very easy task. We still had to remove sleepers from 4 siding and then bring the timbers in and out through there, however comparatively easy to going under 2 tracks.

We’ve still got a good amount of tidy up to go and all of this still needs a tamp, however tomorrow should see all of that completed.

Tomorrow’s gang will meet at Castlemaine from 8.30am.

More Castlemaine Yard

In the never ending task of renewing point timbers and sleepers around Castlemaine Yard, a few more goals have been kicked this week.

A few of the more awkward point timbers have been renewed. Unfortunately, given their location the only way in is by removing a sleeper from the adjoining track and removing / inserting the timbers via there.

It’s unfortunately awkward and very time consuming, however it needs to be done, so we just set aside more time than usual for these tasks.

Next week’s task will be renewing around 25 sleepers in 4 road.

Meeting at Castlemaine from 8.30am.

Odd Jobs

It’s been a week of odd jobs and a bit of left field stuff that has kept us busy in various ways.

Today’s and Tuesday’s gangs took on thr rather unglorious, but still very essential, task of turnout cleaning and lubricating. Tuesday saw all of Castlemaine, including the bits below the signal box, lubricated and checked. While today’s crew tackled Maldon and Muckleford.

It’s not a lot of fun, however it does make an enormous difference to the ease and reliability with which the turnouts work.

Of course while in the area, any loose bolts are tightened.

The gang also found time to tidying up some fallen branches that came down in a recent storm.

While all this has been happening on our Railway, our little excavator went for a quick holiday down to the Yarra Valley to stack just under 600 concrete sleepers that were recently released during a rail upgrade project around Melbourne. The sleepers had been tipped out of trucks and required neat stacking before they could be truck up here. We’d like to thank the Yarra Valley Railway for their help in this project and for the use of their site for a few days while we stacked them up. We only need another 15,000 or so now to be able to replace all our timber with concrete!

Given tomorrow’s hot weather and various other requirements, there won’t be a workday, so stay home by the air-conditioning!

The gang will be back in action on Tuesday, replacing turnout timbers in Castlemaine Yard from 8.30am, there’s a few to do and they’re in very awkward locations so this will likely take up Thursday and Friday also.