Well it’s all happening at Castlemaine, some slight delays in service tappings etc.. have held up the trench back filling, but that should be well underway by later this week.

Today saw the last of the north end trenching, to the location of the power and water meters. John’s busy in the hole spreading bedding sand.

While Bruce got the exciting job of untangling the orange bunting! To help secure the open trenches.

Water; both fire service and domestic supply, electricity and nbn conduits are now largely laid, with only the final lengths to go in tomorrow.

This is a big step forward in the Castlemaine upgrade works, with it’s benifits and future proofing setting us up very well for the future. Watch this space as lots of exciting things will be starting over the coming months.

It has meant our road access to and from the yard has been temporarily disabled, so it’s rail both ways. We even treated ourselves to a turn on the turntable, just for something different.

While back at Maldon the ballast wagon is complete, with all it’s stenciling now applied, it looks a treat.

Too good not to share

Riley from for Young Volunteers Group has spent the last few days hard at work painting one of our ballast wagons, thanks Riley and YVG.

It’s looking stunning, far too good to use. It arrived covered in graffiti and looking quite unloved. But no longer!

This wagon is the first of our wagons to return to the VGR after many years away, having been hired out after our last major project (rebuild to Castlemaine). The others will return to us over the coming months.

And how could we not show off our gang, ready and eager to get into it on Thursday Morning.

Back – John, Mick, Clive & Bruce T, Front – Malcolm & Bruce D. This isn’t our whole gang but it’s most of our regular Thursday Crew.

It’s not often we can get the crew to stop work long enough to grab a pic like this (unless it’s smoko), so thanks to Bruce T for organising it.

This Thursday will be a little different, with the gang off to Muckleford Creek Bridge, to correct some of the wiggly track. Meet Maldon 8am or site from 8.30am


Another very successful day! 26 rails (plus the one left over from the UP) were brought up from Muckleford and dropped out along the very last part of Tangent 20-21.

We ended up having two lengths of 80lb too many, how’s that for cutting it fine over the whole 8Km between Maldon and Muckleford, only 2 rails left over! (lots of short fairly useless stuff left over too but it’ll likely be used in sidings)

Once dropped out the shuffling began, getting the lengths into their approximate final positions.

This was followed closely by the joint cleaning and lubricating crew, which in turn was followed by the bolting up crew. The 25 rails required are now bolted into strings of 4.

To round out the afternoon we broke up the very last of the 60lb still in strings and removed about half of the dog screws in preparation.

As next week is a short week, we wont attempt it then, however in a fornight and the big day will arrive and we’ll finally have this section complete.

Don’t forget tomorrow’s civil Saturday at Muckleford from 8.30am

Getting there

Today sees us yet another step closer to having the re-railing done.

This morning started by dragging the digger away from trenching at Castlemaine for a quick tamp of last weeks work, followed by lots of drilling and spiking to complete the job.

Steel sleepers were also attended to, as were anchors.

We used a combination of the drill pack and the hand drills today, this gave a very quick production rate, with everything spiked and jewellery collected by 11am.

The gang sorting the jewellery.

No rest for the wicked however, we’ve dropped out all the sleeper plates ready for the next leg.

We even found time to duck away to Muckleford and cut the remaining rails as required as well as loaded them ready for drop out tomorrow.

Afternoon tea was quite a relaxed affair today, as the gang are all back on deck, taking the time to catch up once again. It was also extremely well deserved as with the speed and effort they put in, means we exceeded all expectations and even broke up all the old 60lb rail from the previous efforts here – a very hard and tiring job.

Our gang in action, it’s a pleasure to just stand back and watch occasionally, as things happen at a great rate before your eyes!

We’ll be out here again tomorrow, preparing the other leg.

And don’t forget about Civil Saturday, this coming Saturday at Muckleford from 8.30am.