Bridge straightening

Three things were tended to today.

The first was patching holes in the decking of Muckleford Creek Bridge. It’s a terrible job, lots of manual digging of ballast and the like but unfortunately essential to maintain a good track.

We aquired lots dual gauge sleeper plates from Bandiana, we have no use for them, except for patching holes in bridge decks.

All thrown up onto the bridge ready for installing.

The second task was the straightening, track rather than bridge as it’s much easier to move. This was focused on the UP end to complement the work done previously on the DOWN end. Even using a stringline just to ensure perfection!

As the rail heads are well worn, the spike holes in the sleeper plates are often a better guide for this work.

And by days end it was looking very snazzy! With the crew taking one last look over their hard work.

A bit more to finish off next week and then we can tick this job off the list.

The other job for today was mowing the long trackside grass around Castlemaine, before the mower decided it had had enough for the day, simple fix but this should all be done by Monday.

Tomorrow will be in at Castlemaine, doing lots of odd jobs. Meeting Maldon 8am or site from 8.30am

Trenching Castlemaine

The past few days we’ve been back into trenching at Castlemaine.

About 3/4 of the way down the carriage shed is as far as we could go for now, without moving the track. Eventually it’ll go another 100m-ish along the full carriage shed (once built).

Conduits for electricity and NBN are now in, with the plumbing going in tomorrow, ready for backfilling before the heavy rails predicted this weekend.

Tomorrow the gang will be at Muckleford Creek Bridge tending to more lining and decking repairs.

Meet Maldon 8am or site from 8.30am.

The finale

Well it was an absolutely mammoth effort, but we’re done! The heat, the sweat, the dust and hard work are now behind us! For now anyway.

Thankyou enormously to our dedicated volunteers who really went above and beyond this week, we couldn’t have done it without you.

We’ve only just arrived back at Maldon, so we won’t be working Tomorrow, the 11hour days and long drives have taken their toll.

We’ll be back into things next week though.

Day 3

Before we’d even started we’d tied up Bazz!

The main focus of the day was fastening up the sleepers. While we were waiting for all the crew to arrive another 50 were inserted, leaving only 44 for tomorrow.

The V crossing was also spiked up, check rail corrected and a few test trains run – all is good.

A lot of using the jackhammer manually (carrying it) is required in this job, not a lot of fun.

But thankfully we have use of the loco and flat wagon, making access much easier.

John and Bruce joined us today, doing most of the heavy lifting and spike driving.

We sent Bazz up as driver at the end of the day… Which went well until he discovered the sanding lever

And with only this one sleeper requiring spiking out of about 15, he managed to drop a very decent pile right where we needed to work, thanks Bazz!

We did have a very successful day. We’re now over half way with the spiking, but we’ll still have a full day tomorrow, at the least.

More Coal Creek

Today’s focus was on correcting the V crossing and inserting sleepers.

The V crossing in 60lb trackwork is riveted to a large steel plate for added strength and support. This plate (seen upside down here) had developed some serious cracks, resulting in the nose of the crossing becoming detached.

The whole crossing was removed, cracks welded and new bolts installed to hold the crossing in place. It’s looking pretty snazzy. Tomorrow’s job is to correct the check rail gap to ensure wheels can’t derail and tie it all down.

While that was going on, the excavator was busy inserting sleepers. About 110 have been inserted now, with 30 odd drilled one side and spikes started. The timbers being used are H4 treated 200×100 Treated Pine. Light weight but just as fiddly and almost identical time required as full sized sleepers.

Tomorrow will see the rest inserted and should see a big start made on spiking up.

Coal Creek

This week we’ve made the long trip down to Korumburra, to help out the Coal Creek Railway.

It’s a 1.6km long tramway, 2ft gauge and once down in the forest you’d swear you were in the Tasmanian Wilderness!

We’re helping out with sleeper changes and correcting an issue with a V crossing.

Today was quite successful, four hours after leaving Maldon we were enjoying a cuppa before we set about removing the fastenings from the 200 odd sleepers and using our new grabs on the digger to remove the old timber.

It was even a bit of fun as we had use of their small diesel engine and flat wagon to carry around our gear!

Tomorrow will be onto correcting the V crossing issue and starting to insert sleepers. We’re well on track to be finished on Thursday.

Civil Saturday

This weeks Civil Saturday will be at Castlemaine signal box, tending to more maintenance as well venturing out into the yard to tidy up a few loose ends before the next round of track work there in a few weeks.

It’s forcast to be a bit chilly with possibly the odd shower so bring a jacket.

Meeting A box from 8.30am.