V/Line Shutdown

Well after two days going top speed on the re-sleepering job next to the V/Line track, we’ve managed to install and clip up 178 concrete sleepers.

We’ve made excellent progress, with this picture featuring Clive showing off the fact that this effort now means we have at least 1 in 2 sleepers in this section now concrete, in fact coupled with our previous efforts here we actually have quite a few more than 1 in 2 as concrete now, but the entire length should be at least 1 in 2 once we finish.

It’s been a mammoth effort and it’s far from over but we’re making amazing progress.

We started the job at a safe clearance from the mainline near Rowe Street Crossing and we’ve managed to get right down to (and including) Forest St. Bridge. However over Forest St bridge, we’ve replaced all sleepers with concrete, a job which we expected might have taken a whole day only took a few hours!

Will, from the Yarra Valley Railway came to lend a hand and he can be seen here clipping up a sleeper.

It should be noted that whenever we do this, the excavator is completely immobilized using the safely cutout feature so there is no risk to the individual during this operation.

At close of play today the bridge was looking very smart, having gone from okay but poor timber to fully concrete!

To greatly quicken the tamping process and because we had far too many people to do the bridge job, a team set about boxing up the completed sleepers, a terrible job to do but it will save us a lot of work and effort tomorrow.

We’ll be back into it tomorrow through till Sunday with lots to go yet, meeting 8am at Rowe Street Crossing.

V/Line shutdown preparations

Today was spent preparing for the upcoming V/Line shutdown. We’ve moved in most of the materials and begun undertaking whatever preliminary tasks we could to help speed up next week.

All the materials have been stored at Castlemaine, so a few shuttle runs out to Rowe street saw things placed ready for next week.

We’ve lifted any screws and spikes that we could, that didn’t involve us getting in the danger zone of the operating V/Line trains, anything will be a massive time saving for next week.

We’ve even changed a few fishplates from angle plates to bar plates, as angle plates can’t be used in conjunction with concrete sleepers.

The program for next week will involve workdays from Monday 29th June through to and including Sunday 5th July. We’ll be working from Rowe Street Monday through till Wednesday, starting around 8am at Rowe Street crossing. We expect from Thursday till Sunday we’ll be down nearer Castlemaine Station. Any help would be greatly appreciated, if you are available and would like to help out, please let Will know via ganger@vgr.com.au so we can fill you in on what you’ll need to bring along.

Tomorrow’s workday will start at the big red shed in Castlemaine around 8am.

3 siding

The last of our remaining stocks of ballast at Castlemaine were dropped onto 3 siding today, allowing us to finish tamping and build enough of a ballast shoulder to prevent too much settling.

4 siding has also been lifted and packed up to the door to allow for filling with crushed rock/gravel next week to fulfill the requirements under the permit to finally get a certificate of occupancy! Very exciting times.

The end result looks pretty good, a few tweaks to come back to after it’s bedded in following a bit of use, but it’s now some of the best track on the railway and it’s only a siding!

We’ll be meeting here again tomorrow, as we begin preparations for next week’s big job during the V/Line shutdown. From 8am at the big red shed.

3 siding Castlemaine

Today was all about ballasting and lifting 3 siding to remove the severe gradient.

So far 2 wagon loads of ballast have been used and to finish off the job about another half a wagon will be needed.

But after today’s efforts we now have a much more appropriate grade, it’ll be a 1 in 100 when we’re finished, which is very gentle by our standards. It’s quite amazing just what an improvement this has made to the appearance of the track work here.

We’ll be back here for the next few days just finishing off and getting everything ready for the upcoming work beside V/Line.