After a slow start due to a few truck troubles, we did make good progress on the new turnout.

We’ve fastened up the straight legs and v crossing, made a start on the curved lead and developed an action plan to get the turntable accessible by late this week or early next week.

It’s all starting to take shape now, with not a great deal required to get it trafficable.

We’ll be back here on Thursday, meeting on site near the turntable from 8.15am.

Castlemaine Yard

Between showers, today saw us practise our turnout building skills.

Before too long we had the straight stock bolted up and a string line run to work from.

We did extremely well today, with both half sets (the bit with the point blades) and almost the full length of the straight leg fastened down. We’ve assembled the straight closures and begun fastening it down, but the rain got the better of us.

In a moment that the rain was showing a bit too much interest, we escaped to the loco shed, laying out the sleepers along the west track ready for dropping in rails in the coming weeks.

Tuesday will see us back here, completing more of the turnout. Meeting Maldon 8am or Castlemaine from 8.30am.

Muckleford Yard

Today saw us return to Muckleford to complete the job started on Monday.

To complement the 1 in 3 concretes, we’ve replaced all single shoulder sleeper plates with double shoulder plates fastened up with Pandrol adaptors.

This should extend the life of the remaining timber for quite a few years.

We even unloaded a loo… hopefully more to come on that next week!!

While we were there with all the gear, we replaced another 4 failed timber sleepers, all under joints, this required the fishplates to be changed also.

After lunch we descended on the 1 / 2 road turnout, where some loose chair bolts and various other small faults were corrected.

One of those faults being a cracked chair under the heel block. A replacement was found and installed. The heel block itself is also cracked, however it’s in constant compression and captive, despite the crack. Given we didn’t readily find a replacement, the old one should suffice until the entire turnout requires renewal.

V/Line and their contractors have now completed welding in the insulated joints, which all look very snazzy and shiny.

This is a massive boost for the ongoing maintenance of the crossing and we’re extremely grateful this was included as part of the project. Hopefully next month will see the fitting of the flashing lights.

Tomorrow, we’ll be getting back to the new turnout at Castlemaine, if all goes to plan we should get a fair bit of it fixed down. Meeting Castlemaine Yard from 8.30am

No workday Tuesday 22nd June

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, there won’t be a workday tomorrow (Tuesday).

However today saw V/Line and their welding contractors make a solid start at welding in the insulated joints at Bendigo Rd.

We even made a start on an extra job which popped it’s head up over the weekend, a fractured rail in 1 road at Muckleford needs replacing.

When we checked to make sure the sleepers were good enough to take a cross bore for a new rail, we decided it was time to replace the whole high leg of this short curve and install 1 in 3 concrete sleepers, as the overall timber condition was not great. It was also found the adjoining rails weren’t in as new condition, so we’ll replace the whole high leg with one single 40m rail to remove the joints in the curve.

We had planned to be working here tomorrow finishing it off, however due to some unforeseen circumstances, we won’t be running a workday tomorrow, hopefully this will now become Thursday’s job.