Today started at Muckleford, with approx 60t of sleepers plates, anchors and dog spikes loaded onto trucks and transported to the Bellarine Railway.
They’re currently undertaking similar track upgrades to us, where they’re replacing old rail for newer 80lb rail. Check out their website bellarinerailway.com.au to find out what exciting things they’re up to!
As we’re making the transition to more concrete sleepers and given we’ve amassed more of these items from various recovery projects over the years than we now have a use for, it’s great to be able to support another Railway with their efforts, something we hope we can do a lot more of.
All of these plates might look familiar, as they’re those which we collected from the Guildford Track during the rail recovery. We knew we didn’t have much need for them, but we had a feeling making sure they didn’t go to scrap was a good idea.
We wish them the very best of luck in their upgrades and look forward to being able to help them and the other railways further as time goes by.
The real purpose of having the big loader on site was to load the Ballast Train, with the first 120t of rock from the recovered ballast.
We weren’t able to drop it out today, as you’ll see why shortly, however it’s now ready to go at a moments notice to top dress the recently re-railed section, to ensure it stays put over summer and enables us to lift dips and low sections to improve the track to a very high standard.
They’re a very smart looking rake of hoppers all loaded up, here remarshalled to be in a usable order. Daylesford’s plough at the end really just sets it off, great little bit of gear and something we feel privileged to have access to.
We’ll feature this ballast drop and just why it’s so important in the next week hopefully, when we get this rock onto the otherwise completed upgraded section of track.
Besides picking up jewellery around Pyrenees Hwy Bridge (we did end up re-railing the high leg over the bridge with a long rail, to fill in a day we’d reserved for Castlemaine works but couldn’t use on Friday), there were several strings of rail, both short lengths of 80lb and a bit of 60lb that needed breaking into lengths so they could be stacked strategically trackside.
Dropping ballast while there are rails in the middle is quite a challenge and impossible to plough. So removing these was a slightly higher priority than dropping rock just yet. While the ballast profile is generally OK in this section, we are aiming for at least a 50mm lift and a slight increase in ballast shoulder now that we’re using longer rails (which do need some additional lateral restraint compared with short rails, especially in hot weather).
And besides all that, we found time to start sorting a pile of jewellery at Muckleford in drums and transport this carriage – Acheron, to the loco shed at Castlemaine so further works can be carried out in it’s restoration.
There’s lots happening and we’re hoping to continue re-sleepering curve 21 (near Bendigo Rd) Thursday and Friday, however due to the recent Castlemaine focus, all the needed gear is at Castlemaine, so we’ll start there at 8.30, load up everything we need and then make our way down to Maldon at around morning tea time hopefully. This project will also need a ballast drop, so we’re hoping to get a few ducks lined up so we can get into ballast train mode for a few days.