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.

Turnout part 2

After another long day and lots of hard work, we’ve almost completed the turnout.

After dropping out all the jewellery it was into drilling and screwing.

Which before long saw us with two very straight rails, ideal for the straight leg of the turnout!

And in no time at all we’d dropped in the curved closure rails.

Carefully aligned to as per the turnout offset diagram (to within 1/2mm!).

Once the curved lead was fixed, the curved stock rails were moved into position with great precision thanks to the new grabs.

It would be no word of a lie to say these saved us in excess of 2 hours work over this project, just because of their incredible versatility and amazing controlability.

The final bolts of the day being done up. It’s fairly heavy work in turnouts, everything’s big, the equipment required is heavy and the heights are always awkward.

But when that’s the end result, it makes it all worth while.

It’s not quite finished, but there’s very little to go. Only the curved stock rail to fix down and point lever assembly/ spreader bars to install.

Next Monday to Thursday will be at Korumburra, helping out our friends at Coal Creek. As such there won’t be a workday on Thursday, but if all goes well we’ll be at Castlemaine on Friday to finish off this turnout.

Don’t forget Civil Saturdays is on tomorrow, at Castlemaine signal box. From 8.30am.