It was full steam ahead with drilling and spiking this morning. With the 1 in 3 completed by morning tea.
We used a combination of drills today, just to mix it up a bit.
Just after morning tea, we began a tamping pass to lift the undrilled sleepers. This was followed very closely by the drilling and spiking crew, so closely we were all done by lunch time.
Now it wouldn’t be a ceremonious occasion in track work if there wasn’t a Golden Dogspike and a Speech.
John didn’t dissapointed with either.
It’s almost 5 years to the day since the re-railing program began, it’s been a long and sometimes slow road. however with 5 years of practice behind us, it’s fair to say we’ve got pretty good, managing to aquire greatly improved equipment, tools and techniques, as well as being able to train up our volunteers to become very very proficient track maintainers.
With a few swift blows after a very appropriate speech, thanking our hard working volunteers, John had driven home our golden spike!
(We do have a video of this that we’ll post up soon when we do a peice on the whole re-railing project)
(if anyone’s thinking they might like to souvenir this gold spike, they will be quite dissapointed to find it is in fact a very well painted regular dog spike)
Nev, looking very proud to be part of the momentous day.
Once the important spiking works were complete, we tended to some significant dips in the track. The main dip funnily enough was at the very crest of the hill!
But some jacking and tamping has brought it back to a lovely vertical curve.
We also had several smaller twists and unlevel sections that were not pretty, but these are now gone and this bit of track looks very smart indeed.
The completed job, with everyone either looking very happy or waiving their arms in celebration.
Today marks a very significant day on our railway. Not only has it shown that we are determined to ensure our railway keeps operating, it has shown that we have the ability to go one step further….
We have helped ensure that our railway will be around for the next 100 Years.
We’ve taken our old branchline standard of railway, with trains maybe twice a week, to a railway that can handle our ever growing traffic, while reducing our ongoing maintenance requirements.
We’re making our permenant way sustainable, safer, stronger, smoother and future proof, it now brings us in line with current Australian industry standards, allowing the greatly increased use of mechanised maintenance and off the shelf replacements, spares, fittings etc…
But it’s really down to the ongoing support of our volunteers, benefactors and dedicated supporters who have allowed this to happen. We couldn’t have done any of this without you and as such we want to thank you formally, with a special train later this year, for all to enjoy and to see for yourself the result of all this hard work. (details released soon).
As a bit of a rounding off to the great day, we kicked another small milestone…
We were able to remove the temporary speed restriction that we’ve had over this straight. With the exception of Bendigo Road Crossing (for safety reasons), this whole section is now line speed – 25mph (40kph), the first time ever in VGR history.