Tidying Up

Today was all about finishing off and tidying up the recent sleeper renewals between Muckleford and Pipeline Crossing.

All those not yet tamped, were squeezed up. While the whole length had the ballast regulated to tidy up the mess.

The finished product looks very neat and tidy!

Next week will see the gang in Castlemaine on Tuesday, before we return to Pipeline Crossing to finish the final 40 or so sleepers in this section, taking us to about half way to Maldon.


A bit more sleepering today, with around 60 installed into curve 16.

We’re starting to get pretty slick with these timber sleeper changes and will shortly need to go and install some more concrete sleepers to release enough timber for the rest of the length towards Maldon.

We’ll be out again tomorrow, with a plan being to tamp all these up, box up everything from the past few weeks. Meeting Maldon 8am or curve 16 from 8.15am.

Turntable – Complete

It looks a million dollars… And it works perfectly!

Today was all about fastening down the timber to the table and installing the locking mechanisms.

We don’t like to brag but how snazzy does this look!

We couldn’t have got the locking blocks more central if we tried, they are perfect and align the rails exactly, no matter how the table is turned.

We’ve now got a system of belts and braces securing the rails and locking blocks.

The cut outs in the timber will prevent any wayward movement should movement occur, however the fastenings have all been installed into tight fit holes, therefore requiring significant decay of the timber before things can get floppy.

This should easily see 30 years of service, if not more.

A lovely job, even if we do say so ourselves.

We’re now back to our railway, with some small jobs at Castlemaine happening tomorrow, meeting Maldon 8am or Castlemaine from 10am.


We’re starting to make some real headway at Newport, with the job very very likely for a finish tomorrow.

We pulled the other end timbers out today… To call them timber is being overly kind.. Kindling is more fitting.

Unfortunately it meant we didn’t have a nice template to trace, however we used some creativity and developed a marvellous arc to cut to.

The mighty star picket is in fact the sighting bar for drilling a straight hole, works a treat.

We managed to get this end timber inserted into the table (not yet bolted down), pandrol plate cut outs completed and plates ready to be clipped up tomorrow.

Not much to go now, but extra hands would be much appreciated, meeting Newport from 7.30am.


A very successful day, another 58 sleepers installed into tangent 15-16. 71 sleepers (some from yesterday) were fastened up, which in itself is a massive effort for our small gang.

Everything has had a tamp and we’ll be back here late next week, boxing up and finishing off the job.

We’ll be at Newport again on Monday / Tuesday, meeting from 7.30am near the turntable.


Another successful day today, with another 70 odd timber sleepers installed into curve 15 and tangent 15-16.

As we’re recycling the removed sleepers from the concrete sleepering program, we need to avoid old holes, hence when installing the sleeper plates, drilling locations are marked.

A busy scene, with the spike removal gear being loaded back onto the truck, while Rolf tends to a sticking chuck in one of the drills.

And of course the obligatory lunch shot.

The cooler weather is much more welcome, with tomorrow forecast to be much the same, feel free to join us from 8am at Maldon or 8.15am from Donkey Farm Trk.

Turntable part 3

After a long day in much nicer, but still a little wet and windy weather, we have one end more or less installed.

It’s been quite a learning curve, as this turntable has a very different setup for securing the rail at the end than we’re used to.

After much debate and working out how to make it work, we decided we could do a far better job than the way it was, so we have changed fishplates and installed pandrol plates to hold the rain ends with no chance of movement.

It was a bit of a learning curve as we had to check out sections to allow for the pandrol plates. But we’ve now got a system for the other end and it should go like clockwork.

We’ll be back here Monday, maybe Tuesday next week and should knock the job over then.

Tomorrow we’re back into it on our Railway, replacing sleepers near Donkey Farm Track. Meeting Maldon 8am, site from 8.30am