Loco Shed

4 siding received it’s final tweaking today, removing the last of a dip and bringing it up level with 3 siding.

The end result is pretty good. Some of our best track is now in sidings.

But the majority of today was spent getting stuck into building the loco shed centre road. The curves required for entry were stringlined, centre line pegs were installed and sleeper spacings marked out.

108 full profile concrete sleepers were distributed along side.

And we even found enough time to lay out about half of them, it’s starting to look really good and after we’ve dropped on the rails on Tuesday it’ll look very smart.

We’ll be using a gravel ballast through this whole area to safe on expensive ballast and to as the whole area will end up largely filled, it should provide a more uniform finish.

Another successful week, with next week looking just as promising! Meeting at Castlemaine from 8.15 on Tuesday.

4 siding Castlemaine

Well after a very successful day, we’ve now got 4 siding connected back up to the carriage shed and available for use.

Reconnecting the track was quite straight forward, with the sleepers already laid out. It was just a case of finding rail and joining everything up.

And here’s proof that it is in fact trafficable!

We made use of the ballast train and left over ballast from Wednesday to complete the ballast drop. Which we did in stages to allow for the big lift required.

Lots of jacking, levelling, lining and tamping followed, getting this bit of track looking very nice.

We’re not quite finished yet, with another small ballast drop needed to finish off the very middle followed by about an inch lift to get it perfect.

Our next project, the construction of track into the loco shed, is also well in hand, with the earthworks now completed ready for track laying to begin tomorrow.

Meeting Castlemaine yard from 8.15am.


Well we’ve now officially run our first proper ballast train in many years.

The section between Midland Hwy and Winters Flat Bridge has received a much needed top up after recent re-sleepering.

The ballast plough clears the pandrol fittings on the concrete sleepers, just! Not something this old plough would have encountered before.

A light drop to fill voids and build a shoulder was undertaken over most of the length, with a heavier drop down near the bridge to allow for lifting out some settlement.

The end result looks pretty snazzy, with the whole job being lucky if it took 10mins. The concrete sleeper weights on the plough proved to be ideal with no hint of any lift.

The afternoon was spent jacking and packing 4 siding in the carriage shed, which is now greatly improved, it’ll settle a little no doubt and we’ll complete a final lift next year some time once it’s bedded in. We did well until the digger sprung another leak, but we should be back in action by the morning.

We also replaced what is probably close to the worst peice of 80lb rail in existance. We used it to make up 5 siding when we were hard up for rail, but before burying it we’ve replaced it with this much nicer piece, an easy thing to do on clipped up steel sleeper track.

Castlemaine is the site tomorrow, from 8.15am connecting up 4 siding.


We’ve had another change to plans, involving the construction of track into the new loco shed. Instead of putting it off until after we’d recovered some more rail from Guildford, we’re now going to get 1 track into the loco shed and 4 siding in the carriage shed connected up over the next couple of weeks.

The short remaining stub of track over the turntable has been removed, to allow for lowering of the earth to take full depth concrete sleepers.

A train of materials, sleeper and rails has been delivered to Castlemaine today in readiness for works.

Along with the ballast plough, on loan to us from the Daylesford Railway, in preparation for tomorrow’s ballast train.

The ballast train has been stabled in the carriage shed to keep the ballast nice and dry, just to make sure it’s extra dusty during tomorrow’s drop! It’s really just to ensure we don’t receive any unwanted vistors playing with the discharge doors while they’re fully loaded.

It’ll be a busy couple of weeks starting tomorrow, with something on everyday, so keep an eye on the blog to see if you can help out.