Castlemaine

A successful day today, the first without any real rainfall in quite a few dayswhich certainly improved moral.

We’ve completed the trackwork part of 3 siding, just a light ballast and tamp to go.

Then we headed down to make a good solid start on the 2nd turntable track. We’ve got about 1.5 rail lengths clipped. The rooster decided he needed to inspect the progress and then annoyed us right through afternoon tea!

Thursday will see us grout in the pit timbers we prepared on Friday, then we’ll get into doing some more work on this siding. However, given parking may be problematic this week, we’ve going to suggest parking is down at the station, with a gentle stroll up to the depot area. Meeting at the depot area around 8.15 on Thursday.

Castlemaine

While we sheltered from the rain showers, the footings for the workshop building were drilled and the concrete poured.

The shed bits are expected on Tuesday, with the main erection likely to be well under way by Thursday.

Today was spent in the shelter of the loco shed continuing with works on the pit timbers.

Hopefully it’s now quite obvious why we built the temporary track over the other pit, as using the digger to lift the timbers in and out for cutting is far easier than anything else!

A little blurry in the low light conditions, but it certainly gives the idea of how little is left to complete this pit now. Today saw all the western side timbers cut, drilled and loosely installed, ready for grouting next week. We expect to install the end timbers next week also, then onto track!

In possibly even bigger news, this week saw the start of the flashing light install at Bendigo Rd. So far only a pole and conduit for the power box is in, but we’re expecting significant works over the next few weeks!

At this stage, we’re planning on being at Castlemaine next week, definitely on Tuesday and provided we’re not clashing with the shed erection we’ll be there later in the week too. Tuesday, meeting Maldon 7.30am or Castlemaine from 8am.

Castlemaine

The 3 siding extension, north of the carriage shed ended up being today’s task. We had planned on doing more pit timbering, however the sharpened saw wasn’t ready until lunch time and we certainly weren’t going to sit around doing nothing until then!

We chose to lift the last 3 lightly built track panels, as it was pretty obvious they weren’t really going to prove that useful given we’re very likely to use this road to store heavy loads of concrete sleepers and rails during the upcoming workshop and loco shed track works.

A rough trench was dug for the new track, down to old sleeper level and the best of the temporary panels were cascaded to the very north end, that will only be for light storage.

All the while, Rolf was busily setting out the exact line of the 2nd turntable track, that we made a very brief start on earlier in the week.

We’ve had two panels of 80lb steel sleepered track laying around for some time, so we bolted them onto the end of 80lb through the shed.

The little digger is right on it’s limit with a panel like this, but it managed, without having to call for backup from the big digger. The rails out the back of the shed weren’t quite square, so that was corrected before we slewed this panel into it’s final home.

Although these panels used the original bolt and plate type of fastening, we needed to install one extra steel sleeper, using the pandrol type fastening, which gave us a chance to use our two brand new pan pullers.  What a treat!

Using the last of our loose steel sleepers, we extended the 80lb another 3 rail lengths. A process which we’re now very fluent in.

Unfortunately around 2pm the rain set in! We’ve completed clipping up the 80lb on steel sleepers and we’ve even roughly junctioned that up to the 60lb timber sleepered panel, but the rain put pay to any further works.

An excellent day’s work however, we’ve managed to largely complete another job to a standard that should require little to no attention for many years.

Tomorrow we’ll be meeting at Castlemaine around 8.15am, where we’ll get back into the pit timbering.

Castlemaine

We had a successful day today, with the east side timbers on the pit grouted into place and fixed down. Unfortunately we forgot to get a finished shot, but it looks much like it did last week, only tidier.

In the afternoon, as we didn’t wish to disturb the grout while it was setting, we moved out to begin work on the 2nd track to the turntable. We’ll slowly poke away at this over the coming weeks between other jobs, until we reach the inspection pit.

We’re not far off needing to build the next turnout at Castlemaine, so yesterday, a start has been made by sorting and loading a turnout’s worth of timbers onto a wagon at Maldon, ready for transport down to Castlemaine.

Between showers yesterday, while the sidings were empty, the chance was taken to flail mow the rather tall weeds over in 3 and 4 roads! Greatly improved.

Thursday we’ll be back at Castlemaine, playing with the pit timbers once again. Meeting Maldon 7.30 or Castlemaine from 8am.