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.

5 siding Castlemaine

Well after today’s works 5 siding is looking a treat.

We’ve extended the run of 80lb out another 4 lengths to give some rolling stock storage, installed our slew track (yet to be slewed) and ballasted around the doorway ready for some quick tamping to fill a bit of a void.

But more of all we ended today with an exhausted, dirty but very proud gang!!

Next fortnight should see the transfer take place, after we’ve slewed and completed a few odd jobs.