Castlemaine Yard

Today saw a very good start made on the West track in the loco shed. The sleepers and rails had been roughly dropped into place previously, leaving us with just a big kit of bits to assemble.

Cold… was slightly an understatement this morning! Reports varied but -3 degrees seemed a consensus. Normally on frosty mornings, a strategic place in the sun is an ideal work location.

Cleverly, we promptly moved straight into the freezing cold shed, where the mud on the rails dragged in the day before had infact frozen solid!

We recovered enough long rail from the Guildford Track to be able to do from the back of the shed to the front of the pit in a single rail, which made the job much easier.

To fasten the rails to the pit timbers, single shouldered sleeper plates and dog spikes were used. This is partly to get the track at the correct height and partly to get the rail can’t to match that of the concrete sleepers.

Normal double shoulder sleeper plates are wider, which could lead to catching clothing and arms when working in the pit, hence the use of these plates.

To get the rails straight, a highly scientific process of measuring from a string line running along the centre of the pit was used to get the first rail fixed centrally over the pit. Then simply gauging from that straight rail.

We’re pretty happy with how this came out, it looks pretty snazzy. We’ve used some fairly warn 94lb rail, transposed to use the unworn edge, which should be quite sufficient for the next century or two in the shed here.

Once the timber portion was complete, the work progressed towards the doors.

We called upon Rolf’s skills once again to peg out the required curve.

Some minor earthworks saw the ramp up to the doorway removed.

By close of play today another rail length has been loosely installed outside the shed doors, with only a few sleepers left to clip up

Tomorrow will see us cut and slew the current shed road, to align it with this new track, a slightly revised track design has been adopted since we installed that centre track last year. Thankfully with the magic of concrete, it won’t be too much hassle to do the changes.

Meeting at Castlemaine from 8.15am

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