Dogging Down

Following on from yesterday’s extremely successful efforts, our small gang of 5 was tasked with the job of completing the remaining drilling & spiking of the 33 rails installed.

We were very fortunate with the weather, starting off around 4 degrees C making the morning the ideal time to knock over all the drilling and spiking. As we were still setup from the day before, we were well under way with the spiking by 8.30am. As we’d had time the day before to pack (tamp) all the sleepers, the drilling process was very rapid, not having to worry about lifting sleepers.

John and Trevor are well into it here. drilling holes and standing dog spikes ready for the spike driver to begin it’s job.

Neville and Trevor hard at work on the spiking hammer, nearing the end of the job, somewhat unplanned was that we ended up having to work up hill for the last few lenghts – this reminded us why we normally make such a point of aways starting at the top!

With spiking complete, attention was turned to the collection of all the removed jewellery, 33 lengths of 80 lb (almost 500m) is quite a length to walk, especially as the hot sun was now teaming down, but thankfully far from the hardest job on the gang.

A quick scrape of the rock to help fill in the tamping voids and preapre the sleepers to take the rails for the other leg saw the job completed! We’ll likely need some more ballast on this section as time goes by, however we’ll wait until all the 80lb rails and in and then assess it, it’s also much easier to do the work without mountains of rock getting in the way.

Next week, weather depending (looking like some well needed rain may fall early in the week), will see lots of the lineside mowing taking place around Castlemaine. Tuesday will be a mix of mowing and preparing the remaining rails in tangent 15-16 for Thursday when we hope to complete this leg down to Donkey Farm Track. Friday will hopefully be a catch up day, finishing off and cutting more lineside grass.

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