It’s been a rather busy week, with things seeming to be happening all over the railway. This a recap of all the activites over the past week, the final week on the track gang for 2018.
It would appear that our use of K class on a works train some months ago left the J class feeling left out, as this time when we requested a loco for a works train, it was sent out to the job!
It was mainly due to the diesel being in the workshops receiving a new paint job, however the opportunity was taken to undertake some training and assessment of loco crews, so a win win all around.
It’s purpose was to drop out rail near the Bendigo Road Level crossing ready for next year’s re-railing program.
All the required jewellery was also dropped out, it seems like a mountain of stuff, but we’ll likely need to get more yet to complete the job.
We’ve got a good work party planned for the week starting the 14th Jan, we’re actually hoping to be in at Castlemaine replacing sleepers next to the main line, but should we run into trouble this will be out contingency.
The day was also the first use of the QR wagon on a works train, used to transport out the dog spikes and sleeper plates. Here Will, sitting comfortably in his lunch chair!, is calling back the engine onto the wagons (it was sent away during lunch for re-fuelling).
Another pleasant first, we can’t actually remember ever using the J on a true works train before… We probably have but we decided if we can’t remember then this counts as a first!
Thursday’s gang was then tasked with the job of distributing the jewellery. But after a quick glance at the digger’s fuel gauge, we decided some more was needed. It’s got a fantastic fuel filler pump arrangement, perfect for sucking out of 200l drums.
First off bolts were dropped out, followed by Clive dropping out fish plates.
Next off was sleeper plates, this time we spent a bit more time positioning each precisely on the end of each sleeper and facing the correct way. Clive, Malcolm and Bruce got very proficient at this after 4 pallets worth.
Spikes were also dropped out, again with more precision than usual, right at the end of the sleepers, to hopefully avoid the need for double handling that can slow things down a bit.
Some odd jobs around Maldon a bit of a Christmas breakup filled in the afternoon.
Today’s small crew of 3 took on the task of trying to tackle our ever growing mess at Maldon. A recent donation of pallets makes the job much easier.
We don’t appear to have made massive in roads, but we have managed to sort most of the loose items into containers and have cleared room to start organising the pallets, drums and other bits into logical rows with some system.
There’s a lot to go, but once the genuine scrap is removed to free up valuable space, the area will actually look quite respectable. We also found all sorts of things we had no idea we had. One goal for 2019 will be to organise the stock piles, as this has caused some down time this year (trying to find those bolts or that plate…).
The week was finished with a final track patrol. And we are pleased to report that not a single new fault was found! A true tribute to all those who have helped out on the gang this year. We can’t thank you enough.
We’ll be taking a break until Thursday 3rd Jan. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We look forward to another great year in 2019.