Closing the gap

Today was full steam ahead into the small section of 60lb left in tangent 14-15 (it’s actually the very slight reverse curves leading to the bridge but very nearly a straight so we refer to it as a tangent most of the time). The up or north leg is this week’s job, with the down leg to follow very shortly.

The team having a good look at their efforts! The foreground is the occupation crossing which has been dug up to allow the re-railing to occur.

Right at the start of works, the rattle gun ready to pull screws, the spike puller in the background and the 80lb in the centre ready to go in.

The 60 starting to come out, with the 80 awaiting pushing across into place.

A couple of Norm, Bazz and Pete as they discuss and pose with the spiking hammer.

Some ‘wheel eye views’ of the spiker in action, working towards the camera driving in the spikes on the way.

The rail through the crossing all spiked down, thankfully the joint is ‘just’ out of crossing, important for bolt tightening later on.

Here Colin admires the joining of the newly installed rail to the existing 80lb over the bridge.

Which means we have retrieved two sets of junction fish plates, always nice to have a few more on hand.

The obligatory lunch time shots, Norm was obviously feeling camera shy so tried hiding by the truck.

By the close of play today all 16 lengths were dogged down and bolted up with only a little over half of them to be tamped up tomorrow for job finished! The gang will be out again tomorrow though, meeting at Maldon from 8 am or back here from 8.30.

Thanks to Bruce for today’s pictures.

Re-railing prep

Out again this week re-railing. Today was material distributing and preparation to speed things up Thursday and Friday.

First off we set about removing anchors, steel sleeper fastenings and digging out the occupation crossing.

Here Rolf wanders back after dropping out fish bolts.

By lunch we’d drop out all the needed materials and bolted up the rails into lengths of 3. This will be one of our smaller jobs, with only 16 lengths required here.

After the preparations we set about finishing off a few odd jobs, first off was fastening down some steel sleepers that happened to be under joints, not the easiest process but it can done. Here Rolf and John tighten up the last bolt, with a spanner as the rattle gun won’t fit on with the panadol clip in the way. Eventually with resleepering these will be adjusted to remove these problems.

Then onto the exciting job of picking up the old jewellery, the team last week had kindly placed it in piles which made the job much easier.

One job still hanging over from last week was boxing up around the concrete sleepers.

After some ballast regulating with the mud bucket and a bit of shovelling, we have it looking very tidy.

We’ll be out here again this Thursday and Friday to get these 80lb rails in, please feel free to come along and help out.

Finishing off

We were back into the job today, finishing off the spiking and fastening up the steel sleepers.

Right at the start of work, with the drilling well under way the spike driver was also in fill swing trying to keep up, just to mix things up we decided to work up the hill…. Made for slightly harder work but not overly.

Here looking back the job, with two drillers and one standing the dog spikes racing up the hill. The eagle eyed will note the Y class in the distance, we bought that down for later on, but it marks where we reached yesterday with the spiking.

These pics show a view further up the hill, yet to be spiked but after a quick cuppa we raced through this section.

By about 11.30 we had all the spiking complete.

The finished product! You can see that the right hand rail is still rusty, with a busy weekend of trains forecast this will look like its always been there on Monday.

Here’s a pic right at the bottom of the hill showing the next section to be re-railed, which will be next week.

The purpose of the Y class was to bring out a wagon of rails, which you can see here have been placed out right down to the bridge, ready for next week.

A last couple of pics showing off what we’ve achieved and what will be achieved next week.

We will be out preparing for this on Tuesday and could really use an extra pair of hands, so please let Will know via ganger@vgr.com.au if you’re able to help out.

Re-railing

Well as promised today was a day of re-railing. 30 lengths were installed, actually a new record yet again! There is still some drilling and spiking to do tomorrow but overall it’s more or less fit for traffic.

The day started out as a glorious fog, cool but not too cold. These pics show where we were aiming to get, it’s actually not the two rails in the foreground but those just beyond.

By 9am we were well into it, with the first of the 60lb unfastened and removed.

Here the excavator is just about to bring over the 80lb ready for plating and spiking down.

Before morning tea we’d manage to place 6 lengths of 80 into position and about half of the 60 had been removed.

Lunch time and all the 60 was out, most of the 80 roughly in place with drilling and spiking well under way.

A small hold up in the form of a very bogged excavator set us back a few minutes, but with some strategic propping and side slewing we finally had it back on dry ground – no pics unfortunately, we were all too busy trying to get it out!

Nearing the end. The farthest group is at the end of the job, while the close group is spiking down the dogs already drilled and started.

Here Tony is heading back up the hill after we’d decided we’d done more than a good days work. You can see we’ve only spiked 1 in 3 so far in this area, the rest of that will occur tomorrow, about 1/2 of job still requires the 2 in 3 to be spiked but this process is actually quite fast. As we managed to fit in a tamp bringing all the sleepers up hard under the rail, saving much time when drilling.

We’ll be out tomorrow finishing off and we are quite low for numbers so any extra hands will be greatly appreciated! We’ll also be running a rail train so there will be plenty to keep the excitement up.