Re-railing part 2

Today saw the 26 length of 80lb inserted and fastened down in curve 16. Unfortunately today weather wasn’t so kind, getting very hot and sticky by the arvo.

A couple of pics of the job with the rails bolted together, plated and awaiting gauging and spiking.

We’re almost done by this stage, all but a few of the joints spiked down, the spiking machine in the foreground awaiting its next job while Rolf wanders up to start the joint spiking.

And of course a competed view towards Maldon! We’ve still got around 25 more rails to insert in this leg, which will occur in a fornights time.

Re-railing Curve 16

Today saw 13 rails on the high leg of curve 16 re-layed in 80lb rail, with another 8 bolted up and ready to be fixed in tomorrow.

We aim to complete around 13 80lb rails a day, so by the end of tomorrow we expect to have 26 in, tamped and completed.

We’ve decided it is much easier to remove the old rail completely, and where side access isn’t available we use the excavator to tow it clear.

The big stand out difference today was the first real use of the new Hydraulic Gauge Adjuster, greatly easing the work load and certainly reducing the required man power.

Overall another successful day on the gang, we enjoyed it so much well be back out there tomorrow!! Feel free to come along, leaving Maldon 8am.

5 Siding Castlemaine

Well today we did it! We’ve transferred some rolling stock onto our new track in the carriage shed. And in our usual VGR track gang fashion it all ran like clockwork without a hitch.

First off we slewed the track and joined it up to 4 siding.

Then the all important transfer of rolling stock

After the transfer we even had time to remove the slew and reinstate 4 siding.

All in all it was a very successful day, now having 3 of our less urgently required vehicles under cover and more space in the shed to store and preserve our collection.

Bridge Work

Muckleford Creek Bridge was our victim today! Today saw the removal of pile 26L – the 26th pile from Castlemaine on the left when facing towards Maldon.

It had been marked during the last inspection for replacement, so that’s what’s happening. Which considering the markings on the post indicated it was planted ‘P’ on the 3rd month of 1938 at a depth of 10 feet (X) below the mark, is not a bad effort for a piece of timber.

A hole has been dug around the pile, down to around 8 feet. Here in a cloud of dust the crew are at work replacing the ‘Sill’ which is the bed of timber upon which the pile rests. (The 80+ year old sill just wasn’t up to another 80 years)

You can see that to secure our historic bridge while the pile is out is a very new and extremely strong prop is in use, giving our crew a very safe and secure place to work.

The bed is now ready to accept its new pile, which will occur tomorrow morning.

The more time consuming and amazing accurate and precise part of the work is cutting the shoulders for the cross heads to rest upon. This is measured multiple times, checked again and again before cutting out the required chunk to hopefully give us a pile that will fit perfectly between the Sill and Crosshead, to support the bridge for another 80 years!

We’ll be hard at work tomorrow and Friday at the bridge if you’d like to come and check out the works.

Bridge Piles

Today the gang thought 38 degrees was still too cool to call off heavy work, however we did remain in the confines of Maldon.

Not only does the gang do the track work, we also look after the bridges.

Today was removing old bracing and very tight and seized bolts from some bridge piles recovered some years ago from near Shepparton.

And we’ve found yet another use for our grab! An obvious one given it is really marketed as a log grab!

We started off by knocking the old bolts out with happens and drifts, but pretty quickly wised up to using the hydraulic spike puller to remove the very corroded and bent bolts.

All of these piles will eventually find a home in Muckleford Creek Bridge. The first of which will be Wednesday, Thursday & Friday next week, so please come along and try your hand at some bridge work!

Pics courtesy of Bruce.