A quick tamp this morning to remove a few drips and wiggles from yesterday’s work has finished the job nicely. We do still need to tidy up the ballast still, but that is really more for aesthetics than anything.

The rest of the day was spent preparing the last of the 80lb rail.

We’ve prepared around 40 rails out of the 55 needed to finish tangent 20-21 (which will complete Maldon to Muckleford). Those 40 were the absolute last of the 14m lengths of 80lb rail from Bandiana.

We’ve identify enough shorter rails (ranging from 11.5m to about 12.5m) in the stocks to see the job out, after which we’ll only have stocks of 9m and shorter, which is really no better than the 60lb it’ll be replacing.

All being well we hope to get some of these in next week, but that does depend on lots of stars aligning.

Clipping up

Well to beat Monday’s record, we had to have a Thursday record.

223 all clipped up well before lunch time! An excellent effort and yet another first for the gang.

Bruce(s), Clive and Will worked up the hill today (just to mix it up) clipping up along the UP leg. Upon reaching the top, this gang grabbed the gauge and begun clipping up the down leg. Meeting up with the rest of the gang working up the hill doing the same thing. This proved a very effective method and one we’ll no doubt employ many more times.

Just to remind you exactly what a biscuit and clip look like. This clip is known as a PR clip, which has all the identical characteristics to an E clip except it’s shape.

With the ballast returned to the track and a tamp through, the job really has come together fast and looks fantastic.

But as we’d completed the task well ahead of schedule, more work was found in the form of fastening removal in the next section. Clive and Bruce went ahead some 300 sleepers clearing the way for the spike and screw pullers. With all the required fastenings removed from curve 9 to Sawmill Road Crossing. 176 concretes are needed here (will seem like only an afternoon’s work now!)

The jewellery was also collected and sorted into drums. All that awaits is for the sleepers to be loaded and dropped out.

Yet another stunning effort from the gang, they’re certainly an excellent crew and without them our railway wouldn’t be making these enormous leaps and bounds forwards.

Tomorrow will start with finishing off tamping today’s works, then onto preparing the last of the 80lb rail at Muckleford.

Concrete Sleepers

Well just on principle, we’ve broken yet another record! With 223 concrete sleepers inserted into tangent 10-11 today! This completes this straight.

It all went pretty well like clockwork today, with little to no breakdowns or annoyances.

The grabs even got to test out their new pads, welded on last week as the first pads have done so much work they were starting to wear out!

We had an extra person today, which helped greatly, 3 seems the perfect number for this.

Although they’re all under, no jewellery has been dropped out or sleepers tamped up, so that’ll keep us busy in the morning.

Meeting Maldon 8am or on site from 8.30.

Concrete Sleepers

The day began with the exciting job of collecting the jewellery, left over from yesterday’s re-railing.

Once all this was sorted and packed away, we had to clear the track for a special train. Not something that occurs very often as we usual insist on no trains during our workdays, however we made a special exception.

Anchors were installed next, before a change of location.

The afternoon was spent at tangent 10-11, distributing concrete sleepers in readiness for next week’s big effort to install 223 concrete sleepers. Moving all the sleepers into place is a big enough job on its own, however we still needed to dodge that special train a few more times which, while a very pleasant thing, did break the work flow a little.

We’ll have gangs running on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday next week, so heaps of opportunity to join in the fun.