Turnout Timbers

Maldon's turnouts are again due for some TLC, with many new timbers required to replace our ageing timbers.

Well the timbers have arrived and over the next few weeks we'll be working our way through the yard.

Work started yesterday on the 3 to 4 road turnout with the first of the new timbers installed.

It was also the first day of using the excavator after its repairs.

Needless to say we're all very thankful we've got it back!!

There is still 4 more timbers to go into under the blade, which will happen early in the coming week.

Tidying up

Today while the excavator was still in the workshops for (hopefully) the last of its repairs, we took the opportunity to run a works train.

We travelled between Maldon and Muckleford to pick up the track jewellery (spikes, screw, anchors, bolts etc…) left over from recent resleepering and rerailing jobs.

The team at work loading up the jewellery and sorting the bits into our ballast wagon.

An update…

A couple of weeks ago we experienced a issue with one of the traction motors that drives the excavator when it’s up on rail wheels. 

The internals of the motor experienced a failure which resulted in lots of fine pieces of plastic and metal being deposited through that section of the hydraulics. It’s also had the flow on effect of clogging up all the hydraulic filters and strainers, leading to some issues in the operation of the excavators controls and travel.

However all the filters and traction motor components are now on hand and will be installed early in the coming week, and hence we’ll be back into it in no time!!

In the mean time some old fashioned manual work has been undertaken:

  • Stacking sleeper plates on pallets in readiness for rerailing 
  • Breaking up more of the Swanhill line fish plates for use in our track
  • Lining to remove some of our worst kinks between Maldon and the 87 mile post. 
  • And most recently replacing some badly worn fish plates in Sawmill Rd crossing

Sawmill Rd Level Crossing after replacement of the worn fish plates. The worn plates had resulted in a very rough joint in the crossing. 

We are planning to be back into rerailing the week after next, on the curve over the Pyrenees Hwy Bridge. 

Castlemaine Yard Cleanup

Today saw a bit more cleaning up around the yard at Castlemaine.

After running a die over the threads for inspection pit timber securing bolts, the north end of the yard received a long overdue tidy up.

Unfortunately the pics below aren’t great as they were taken late in the day. And no before pics as we forgot!!

A view looking south from the north end of the yard 

A view north towards Walker St. 

The cleaning consisted of moving rail and lots of flail mowing to get through the thick vegetation that had taken hold.

We also filled a few of the holes present that were still there from when the railways put an engine in the dirt! Just before the yard closed.