Rail Prep, Sleepers and more!

A busy one today.

Preparing and loading 80lb rails for tangent 14-15 used up most of the morning.

Rolf, deep in the zone, drilling bolt holes.

Malcolm in action docking old welds from the rail ends.

The team is well practised in preparing rails, having prepared over 10 linear km of rail in this manner so far.

The afternoon was quite varied, replacing a few sleepers around Muckleford yard, cross boreing / re-gaugeing a section of the curve on the UP side of Muckleford and installing some tie rods in two curves towards Castlemaine that are being to show signs of loose fastenings.

These works are just part of the maintenance required to keep our railway operating safely.

Well be out preparing for tangent 14 – 15 tomorrow, with the weather forecast for the same as today, it’ll be another perfect day in paradise.

Newport Part 2

We’ve been back at Newport again this week, more turnout timbers and lots of sleepers.

We had a bit of a nice surprise today with not one but two steam locos being lit up!

We’re even holding out hopes we might be big movie stars! You can just make out a camera man at left and behind the gang were many more!

Not entirely sure why so many film crews thought our civil gang was news quality but we’re pretty chuffed! (we think maybe they were there to film the engines along with some sort of press release – we’ll have to watch the news to find out)

Re-sleepering inside the loco servicing area was interesting, you can see how much material had to be moved to remove the old sleepers and install the new.

The afternoon was spent dodging trains and cleaning up the old sleeper material, kept the gang very busy!

We’re back for one last day tomorrow, to tidy up loose ends and install the last few sleepers, if you’re around and looking for some excitement please join us!!

More Sleepers and Tamping

Today we put in the rest of the sleepers, again a mix of steel and timber.

You can pick the new timbers by their red colour. The short straight above was one of our roughest sections of track, however after an hour of jacking and tamping it now rides very smoothly.

Unfortunately there is a number of ‘crippled’ joints, the rails are bent vertically near the joint, which prevents us getting the track dead flat, but it’s much better… Only all the way to Castlemaine to tamp up now!

Sleeper Replacements

After finally managing to get our hands on some sleepers, some nice new red gum, we’ve got back into sleeper replacements.

Our worksite today was near the Maldon tip, replacing life expired and broken sleepers.

This is the first time our new grab has had a real go at sleepers, it’s fantastic and we definitely won’t go back to the old grabs!

We had a few steel sleepers on hand and these were installed also. The pic above shows the finished job, timber sleeper just under the excavator rail wheels and a steel sleeper a bit further up.

We haven’t fastened them down yet, but we will once we re-rail with the 80lb, as fastening now will only weaken the sleepers later on.

We’ve got some more tomorrow, so feel free to have a day in the bush seeing how it’s done!