Bendigo Rd

Today saw the final preparations for the Bendigo Rd Crossing Rebuild undertaken. The roadway has had the bitumen cut as required.

We also removed a small cripple in one of the rails that’ll be going through the crossing.

It was pretty minor and we could have lived with it, but it’s much less pronounced now and should give a much better finished look.

We’re now all systems go for tomorrow. Meeting at Maldon Station at 7.30am or on site from soon after. There’s plenty to do and see, so please feel free to join us.

First rails in

Today was a busy one, with both junction rails installed on the UP side of the level crossing.

They ended up being a fairly easy install given all the lokspiking done in the previous week. We’ve even begun installing concrete sleepers, 8 so far, 6 under what will become the insulated joint and two to support the joint at the up end.

We did learn a few tricks, one being it is much easier to install the pandrol adaptors while the old rail is out but before the new goes in.

We also found that giving everything a light tamp helps greatly in clipping up, not a great surprise, but it was worth the extra effort.

It’s a bit hard to see what we’ve done, but it does mark the first lengths of rail recovered from the Guildford track being install, which is exciting!

This photos shows the kink which we’ll remove during the rebuild.

So it’s just all this to go now! It’s all looking very do-able by Friday. Maybe a couple of loose ends to tidy up next week, but the bulk will be behind us.

We’ll have a small crew on site from 8am tomorrow, attending to a few jobs we just didn’t get time to do today, feel free to join us.

Bendigo Rd Preparations

A few more preparations at Bendigo Road today, with the last of the lokspikes installed, junction rails dragged into place etc…

It’s all starting to take shape, hopefully next week we’ll be in a position to not only rebuild the crossing, but complete the installation of these junction rails, or maybe that’s being a little over-optimistic, hopefully we can though.

A rogue limb from the large gum tree on Maldon Station came down some time last night. Believe it or not, the limb missed the station sign, bench seat, fence, lamp and garden bed plants! The big digger promptly grabbed the limb and placed it aside before it could fall any further. We’ll get an Arborist in next week to check this tree out as this is the biggest but certainly not the first limb to fall and we probably won’t be so lucky next time!

Next week we’ll be all systems go at Bendigo Road. Tuesday well meet at Maldon at 8am, then onto the crossing where we will do the final touches and begin any works that we can to speed up Thursday and Friday.

Bendigo Road

Today saw most of the material for the upcoming crossing re-build delivered to site. First off a train load of concrete sleepers were taken out from Maldon, having been collected from Muckleford the day before.

Once there the big digger was put to work unloading.

There’s far more sleepers here than we need for the crossing job, however they’ll be needed nearby sooner or later.

A quick run through to Muckleford to collect the rails followed. 4 X 80/94lb junction rails and 2 X 94lb rails were loaded up.

It seemed a very small rail train compared to late last year’s trains.

These were dropped off near the crossing.

Now that we knew the exact rail lengths we are using, we set about measuring the locations we’ll need to cut and join rail, to ensure no issues. We’ll end up with 94lb through the crossing, with long junction rails on either end to get us back to the 80lb.

To facilitate this, we’ve installed lokspikes, ready to use pandrol adaptor’s so we can change out the current rail and install the long junction rails.

All the colours, lines and markings have some meaning…. generally something extremely trivial, but it gives the impression of a very detailed and thorough system.

We even managed to find time to stop using some of the gear long enough so Bazz could attend to a few issues.

Tomorrow we’ll drive in the lokspikes on the Up side of the crossing, before we begin work on aligning the track approaching the crossing, as besides the crossing itself currently being quite misaligned, the approach tracks also don’t really resemble a straight line, so well get them sitting closer to the mark to save a bit of work on rebuild week.

Meeting Maldon 8am or on site shortly after.