Big Crane Truck

Well, today we added another toy to our collection.

This Crane Truck belongs to the Ballarat Tramway Museum and we’re very grateful to them for allowing us to use it for a few projects we have coming up (which require a little more muscle than our crane truck) .

It’s a great machine and no doubt you’ll see it appearing on this blog.

Castlemaine Work Days

We’ve got some dates lined up for more works at Castlemaine.

3rd Feb, 17 Feb, 3rd March, 17th March, 31st March 2018.

Each day will start at the Big Red Shed, Castlemaine at 9.00am.

All welcome, bring Hat, Sun Smart Work Wear, Steel Capped Boots, drinking water and meals. We’ll provide the comfy chairs! (And HIVIS jackets if needed)

We will be completing 5 siding and organising the transfer of wagons into there, finish off the ballasting in 3 & 4 siding and the associated lifting and lining, among other clean-up works.

Please contact Will on ganger@vgr.com.au if you’d like any further info.

Winters Flat & Midland Hwy

Despite this afternoon’s heat, the morning did give our crew a good chance to clean up under Winters Flat Bridge, fix a few small issues around Midland Hwy and put up a sign!

The cleanup work was undertaken by Middleton Prison workers, the assistance we receive from Middleton Prison’s community gangs are often a large bulk of our work force, and we couldn’t do it without them.

One before and a few afters from the clean up:

We installed a low clearance sign for Northbound traffic on Langslow Street.

While the remainder of the day saw the gang renewing track bonds around Midland Hwy Crossing.

Our highly technical wire bond hole boring machine picture below:

Turnout Repairs

Even during a heatwave the gang still gets stuck into it.

Today saw us move and replace some Timbers under the 2/3 Rd turnout at Maldon. The curve lead was starting to work, so before it headed outside a safe gauge we’ve secured it!

Best of all… we got to try out our new hydraulic gauger! It’s a Bazz creation, and although only it’s first day in trial we’ve all decided it’s the best thing since sliced bread. You can see by the look on the faces, they’re all pretty proud of this device – Bazz (blue overalls – centre) particularly so.

Of course no job is complete without a quick tamp. We also lifted a few other dips out while we were at it.

Steel Sleepers

Around the ‘top of the grade’, the highest point on our line, are a couple of steel sleepers. These had been sitting under the track unfastened since the re-railing several years ago.

So we decided to test out the same brackets that we used in the Carriage Shed to retrofit (retro-fasten??) steel sleepers in 80lb track – success was the result.

We have used the old bolt and bracket style previously during re-railing with steel sleepers, but that wasn’t easily available here.

More Mowing

As mentioned yesterday, today was finishing off the mowing on the embankments.

Amazing how smart the embankments look with a mow!

The main areas of focus today were around Pyrenees Hwy and Winters Flat Bridges.

Apart from collecting every piece of hidden fencing wire! The flail mower again proved its worth.

Flail Mowing

A quick run through with the flail mower again today.

After last weeks mow by the contractor, this clean up should hopefully see our this season.

The main areas today were Muckleford Creek, Walmer Road and Farmers Bridges, around the built up areas of Castlemaine and lastly a bit along the signal cables and point rodding at Castlemaine.

Tomorrow will see the bottom of the embankments around Castlemaine done, as well as a bit under Winters Flat Bridge.