Bridge Work and More Sleepers

Another big day for the gang, with two major jobs tackled.

A further 21 concrete sleepers were installed into curve 10 while the decking on Sawmill Road Bridge was secured.

The past few days has been securing the decking on Rifle Range and Winters Flat Bridges (yes every piece of decking on that massive bridge has had this treatment!). Today was Sawmill Road’s turn. The issue can be seen in the above pic, the decking had begun to wander out in places.

The issue is very easily rectified… With a digger. But it isn’t a solution, so a solution was devised.

By drilling through the runner and into each piece of decking, a screw could be installed to prevent any movement.

Winters Flat was such a big job we even purchased a battery powered impact wrench to help, much lighter than any alternative.

The finished product, a simple solution to a irritating problem.

To reach 90% of the bridges we needed this beast, as any other option was just impossible.

While half the gang was playing bridges, the remainder played sleepers.

Exactly the same process as last week, this time without any breakdowns.

Today saw 21 concrete sleepers installed, which was actually 2 more than required to complete the curve, but they were left over and it seemed appropriate to just keep going.

Again the scarifier wasn’t available, so the mud bucket was called upon. If it didn’t tie up the machine, this method would be the quickest and easiest, but it really takes the digger away from its critical jobs of removing and inserting sleepers.

Some fine tuning by eye and tamper left us with another fantastic curve.

We’re yet to sort the old sleepers and grade them for re-use, but otherwise the job here is complete. Onwards to the next curve, with will occur next week on curve 12, between Farmers and Walmer Rd Bridges.

Tomorrow will be some final bridge work at Muckleford creek, which will likely see a close to bridge work for this season, of which a busy and productive season it has been.

Meet Maldon 8am or Muckleford Creek from 8.30am.

Concrete Sleepers

Another 26 concrete sleepers were installed today into curve 10.

Unfortunately the day was plagued with breakdowns, our trusty old scarifier just wouldn’t start, we broke a bracket that connects one of the tamping tynes to the tamper and a rattle gun decided it didn’t want to play ball either!

Despite all that we still found ways to work around all the issues and have completely installed all 26 sleepers, only 19 left to go into this curve now.

We’ll be doing a mix of bridge work and the rest of these sleepers next week, so if you’ve got a free day any day next week please feel free to join us.


Some quick pics of Riley from the VGR’s Young Volunteers Group hard at work completing the painting on our QR wagon this afternoon.

The old faithful QB’s haven’t been forgotten either, the other will receive this attention next week.

The repaint and bit of TLC while at the workshop has made a world of difference to not only the appearance of this vital Civil Rolling Stock, but it helps demonstrate how we’re trying to maintain our equipment to ensure its around for many years of service.


Another record was set today, with 22 80lb rails installed completely in just one day.

Being close to the depot meant everything was well underway by 8.30.

Clive and Mal undertook the task of spike removal. We even tested our new sledge hammers… The verdict is still out but we like the colour!

While Bruce and Rolf removed the remaining screws, some were removed Tuesday to speed things up.

Following closely behind was the digger, swapping the rail over.

Rocks and dirt being blown away before positioning the new rail.

It was quite cold this morning when we joined the strings of rail, as such a decent rail joint gap was needed, the thin end of a sleeper plate was ideal.

After lunch Tony, Rolf and Mal joined up to the remaining 60lb.

And by days end the hard slog had paid off! The job is complete. Some cleaning up is still needed and that will occur over the next few weeks. Another sensational effort from the gang.

Yesterday was another busy day for the gang, with a works train in the morning dropping out more concrete sleepers.

The afternoon was spent cleaning all the years of accumulated junk from the well wagons.

It’s amazing how much deeper the wells seem when not full of gunk (Riley’s sandwich was only there temporarily we hope).

While at Maldon we managed to talk one of our Young Volunteers, Riley, into giving all three wagons a quick paint to freshen them up. And what a difference even just one coat has made. Thanks Riley.

Tomorrow is concrete sleepering in Curve 10, we’re quite light on numbers so any extra hands would be appreciated. Meet Maldon 8am or on site from 8.45am.

Some fine tuning

Yesterday was spent adjusting, tweaking and improving the track over Muckleford Creek Bridge.

The Down end had the dips removed by jacking and tamping, while the up end received much more attention.

3 panels of track were re-aligned to turn a series of flats and kinks into a stunning curve off the bridge (as it’s meant to be). We even replaced 2 joint sleepers that weren’t doing a great job with Concrete, just off the bridge.

Unfortunately we forgot to grab a before picture, but the result is a complete transformation.

Next week will be a rest from Bridge work while we complete some more re-railing near Bendigo Road and install more concretes into curve 10.