Castlemaine Yard

Excellent progress made today on the 2nd turntable approach track today, to the point of it being sort of usable.

We quickly set about clipping up everything not got to on Tuesday, which didn’t take very long.

We even bit the bullet and tested a few fastclip style concrete sleepers. These have a side application clip, rather than the parallel style of e clips. We’ve got several hundred of these in stock so it was time to work out how to use them.

We butchered a few 94lb biscuits to prove the concept, and they worked a treat. A special tool to apply and a separate removal tool is used on these clips, as shown off by Norm. They will also clip up with a gentle squeeze from the grabs, which is a nice bonus!

Before any rock was dropped a good bit of lining was undertaken, amazing just how flexible track really is, even fully clipped up it still moves well.

We’d previously manually added ballast to get the track usable, enabling our ballast train to venture out for the drop. Again Daylesford’s plough was the first real rail vehicle to pass onto the new rails!

A good drop, the two full wagons worth, was needed to get the track up to the right height and ensure we can maintain sufficient drainage of what is now a massive, largely undrained site.

Lots of everyone’s favourite, jacking and packing, was most of the day’s task!

But we did get to dropping out the rest of the sleepers and sitting the rails on top ready for tomorrow’s crew to clip up.

While all this was happening, we sent the Y class to Muckleford with the now empty ballast wagons to free up some more space in the yard. You can see from this view we’ve still got some lifting to do, however the area through the gates and near the fire hydrant is complete. This siding will become mainly storage for the next few months, so this standard is far in excess of what’s needed for that.

Tomorrow, despite the lockdown, will be going ahead as planned. We’ll be meeting at Castlemaine around 8.15am. Any questions, please contact John or Will.

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