Concrete Sleepers

Well as promised we successfully installed 80 concrete sleepers between Midland Hwy and Maclise St.

It was a reasonably hard days work, mainly as the temperature was above freezing and we’ve all acclimatised to the cold!

The day began at Midland Hwy, after the usual parade of equipment was taken to site.

The marked sleepers were unfastened (real mix of screws and dogs through here) and removed from the track.

The above pics show the general quality of the sleepers removed.

The sacarifier followed behind, cleaning the way for the next sleepers. Without this piece of equipment the job would be very time consuming and labour intensive.

Once a nice clean channel was available for the concrete, they were promptly installed.

The excavator did all the heavy lifting, ensuring the sleepers were as close as possible to their final position.

Installing the correct biscuits (spacers) and clipping up followed closely behind. We did find our gauge was in places slightly wide (still within tolerance but concrete sleepers require exact gauge and have little to no tolerance) so our gauging tools were needed. Here the clipping crew adjusts gauge to get the clips on.

The gauger (old style manual one) and a clipped up concrete sleeper.

By the afternoon the novelty of the manual gauger had worn thin and the hydraulic gauger was employed. This section was generally not a big issue but the gauger just made it so much easier.

Here the gang, after inserting all the sleepers, is clipping up the last of the days efforts.

We even had a new volunteer join the gang today, Bruce. We’d like to say a big thank you to Bruce for joing us and we look forward to having him back next week.

A closeup of a clip being installed while the gauger hold everything in place.

And finished! Well for today anyhow. It was a big learning curve installing these with the full gang for the first time. We’ve learnt a lot for next time, but overall we’re very happy with the progress.

A massive thanks to everyone in the gang for giving it their all today. There will be a lot more of this happening over the coming months, so please if you’re available come and along and see what’s really involved.

We’ll be out here again tomorrow to finish off, with the tamping and ballast regulating yet to be completed.

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