Well we set out to install as much of the rail in the retaining wall as possible today, the end result was greatly more than we had expected given the horrid weather.
We’ve completed all the full length runs of longitudinal rail strings, with only about 10 rails left to install in the higher section early in the new year.
The day began by unloading rail from the wagon stored on site, placing the first of the rails down and working out exactly how to ensure they stayed there while they were welded on.
Bruce and Colin were very quick to work out a very easy system with crow bars, which proved to work extremely well.
Bazz was chief welder, working very closely behind the bolting up and propping crews.
By morning tea we’d reached the north end with the first run of rail, which proved quite time consuming as we had all sorts of conduits and an NBN pit to negotiate, thankfully Project Manager Graeme and Rolf tackled this task.
Morning tea was spent using about the only decent shade available in this area of the Castlemaine Yard – next to an old oil tanker.
We had some cutting to do and although water is now on site we decided the fire truck was just as good as any… until we managed to break the hose reel. The effect was very spectacular and the gang were in no way complaining about the water spray, once we’d run the ute back and fourth to wet the area we reverted to the mains supply while the hose reel was fixed.
By lunch we’d done so well we were even able to sand over the last of the exposed conduits to make life much easier for the higher levels of rails.
Lunch was in the sturdy old Shunter’s Cabin, now equip with couch and bench!
After lunch and we really got into the swing of things, with it all coming together very quickly. In the end we just had to give up because of the heat and given the enormous effort put in by everyone, it was a well deserved early finish (only about 1/2 hour early mind). The new grabs proved invaluable in this task, the ability to move them so precisely made it very easy.
We’ve now got 6 longitudinal strings installed the full length, we still need to install another longitudinal string for half the length and then at least another for a quarter of the length. Something we should be able to achieve easily in the new year. Then we’ll be able to start back-filling and tidying up once that’s done.
That was the last workday for 2019! Tomorrow’s extreme heat, total fire ban and high fire danger seems like the universe’s way of telling us we’ve done enough for the year and we deserve an extra day off. (Civil Saturday on 21st Dec will NOT be running due to the same reason)
We look forward to seeing you all again in 2020, with gangs starting back on Tuesday 7th January. Thank-you once again to everyone who has come out and helped on the civil gangs this year – we just couldn’t have done it without you.
We would like to wish everyone a very safe and happy festive season – watch this space for the excitement that will be civil gangs 2020!