Rowe Street

Today saw us install the remaining concrete sleepers either side of Rowe St. to achieve 100% concrete, short of bringing in the final materials (fabrics and drainage etc…), we couldn’t be more ready for next week’s rebuild.

And it looks pretty snazzy too.

We started by lifting the low leg of the curve to match about the required height following the rebuild, mainly to save time on the day but also to make the final sleeper changes easier.

It’s a very well practised routine now, with the 32 concretes installed in no time.

While it might seem logical to just go through and replace all the sleepers at once, where there is lots of ballast like here, you end up just burying yourself and getting no where, this method doesn’t require a single shovel to be picked up at any stage of the game!

Although the gang still like to tidy things up manually in the quiet times.

It also means it can all be done under traffic, so if we get a failure on a digger, trains can still run.

A combination of the bucket and a lump of old sleeper, seem to get the ballast profile back into good shape.

We’ve bundled up all the timber sleepers we’re keeping (to be used in the Yards) and stacked them ready for taking away.

We’ve come a long way from the old days of manually stacking the sleepers ready for strapping, now the digger and the grabs do everything, exact apply the strap, which as you can see above always takes a few minutes to re-learn, but strangely satisfying when it works.

Once everything received a final tamp and a bit of ballast tidy up, it all came up looking very smart and should make next week’s rebuild job just that much easier and quicker. Next Thursday and Friday are our planned re-build days, essentially a copy of the recent work at Bendigo Rd.

Tomorrow however, a change of scene, we’ll be dropping out concrete sleepers along curve 21 (near Bendigo Rd – Maldon) and preparing for the next round of sleeper replacements along there. Meeting Maldon 8am or on site from 8.30am.

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