Retaining Wall – Castlemaine


Well after two very long and hard days, we now have all the uprights in place and braced ready for a concrete pour.


The retaining wall we’re constructing is to separate the access road from the new engine shed, which has a significant height difference.

We’re keeping in a very typical railway style, making it all from old rail.


The uprights are spaced at 1200mm centres, with extras around the service trenches where wider spans were required. A total of 41 posts all up – all very heavy and hard to handle!

We employed a fairly simple system of running a length of level 60lb rail along the bottom, to which the 80lb uprights (due their increased strength) were then welded vertically and in turn braced ready for a concrete pour around the uprights. The welding was all thanks to Bazz.


The end result is very impressive! It’ll easily be the best all rail retaining wall on the Railway! The concrete pour should be tomorrow, allowing a week for hardening, before we install the longitudinal rails and back-filling.

Tomorrow and Friday will be a few more Concrete Sleepers in Tangent 8-9, meeting Maldon 8am or site from 8.30am.

Works Train


Well to round out our odd job week, we ran a very odd looking works train to Castlemaine. The purpose of which was to deliver prepared (cut to length) rails to construct a retaining wall required as part of the earthworks near the new engine shed.


The opportunity was also taken to transfer a carriage to the shed at Castlemaine. The day did however require a fair amount of shunting at all three stations.


Once at Castlemaine with our two wagons loaded with rail for the retaining wall safely secured past the turntable, our attention was turned to putting the carriage in the shed.

This involved pulling out the 3 Y classes that arrived on our railway last weekend – currently living in the shed. We suspect this is a first time in a few years 4 Y classes have been coupled together.


Two of the Y classes are for long term storage, however one (Y157) is very close to being a usable loco (albeit requiring a bit of body work and a paint) and as such we made use of the occupation to transfer this loco to Maldon for the workshops to begin work on its re-activation.

This loco will help alleviate our total dependence on Y133 during the summer months, as well as offering greater flexibility when it comes time to running the hundreds of upcoming ballast, sleeper and rail trains.

Tuesday next week will be works in at Castlemaine, with the start of the retaining wall. It will be an interesting exercise, all welcome. Meet Maldon 8am or site from 8.30am

Odd Jobs


It was a day of odd jobs along the railway, involving removing kinks and dips. The first was a significant kink in our otherwise very nice curve 16. The worst was between the two rocks sitting on the rail seen above.


Under Mick’s careful eye the kink was removed, greatly improving the curve.


Most of the day was correcting dips and odd track geometry at the most obvious locations along the line (based on ride quality). The hardest part of all this work is often working out when to stop…. we could easily spend the next 2 years doing nothing but jacking and packing! But that alone isn’t going to ensure we maintain a strong and safe track.

received_832494200502230 The hardest part of this job is lugging around the jacks, which seem to become very heavy by the end of the day.


It’s the time of year where at smoko we are constantly on the search for good shade – it can be harder than it sounds at times. Today’s culinary delight for Mel included home-cooked pasty with chutney, eaten in tandem with a Banana. An interesting choice and one which certainly gave us something to discuss.


Once lunch had finally run it’s course, the next job was installing a few metal biscuits on some of the concrete sleepers installed in tangent 12-13. We haven’t been installing outer biscuits on the straights generally, however a small patch (probably a poor batch when installed back in 2002-2003) of timber sleepers were starting to show a lack of gauge holding ability.

So to sturdy things up and ensure we maintain gauge until we can re-rail and re-sleeper this section, we have installed our trusty metal biscuits into the concrete sleepers, which are still proving to be a complete success.

received_2902539403143329 We rounded out the day with a bit more tamping, fixing issues around mud holes, rabbit warrens and settling near Winters Flat Bridge. It was a very successful day, tending to lots of little jobs.

Tomorrow will be an action packed day of works trains, with various things requiring moving around the railway for upcoming works. We’ll be leaving Maldon around 8.30 – 9am and you’re most welcome to join us, we hope to be back around early afternoon but it just depends how much fun we have!