Ballast Drop

It was a glorious day for a ballast drop.

We started by Winters Flat Bridge and have dropped a light skim over everything to Pyrenees Hwy.

Unfortunately because all hands were busy controlling wagons, only one shot of the actual ballasting in progress.

But plenty of after shots! We did do larger drops in the sections that need more lifting than others, hence the larger shoulder profile, which we’ll bring back in to use as final ballast after a good lift and tamp.

The ballast dropping is quite a fast process, the train moves along at Walking Pace, to allow controlled discharge from the wagons, while Daylesford’s plough, coupled on behind spreads the rock very evenly and forms an excellent shoulder of ballast at the sleeper ends.

Our aim with this section of track, which has quite a good ballast profile already is to do a drop like this, followed by a 2 to 3 inch general lift (ideally using a production tamper), which means the lower spots will come up more like 6 inches to form a smooth top and hence will require more ballast. We’re hoping there is sufficient ballast on the ground for that process with this drop, but no doubt there will be some places we’ll need to drop a little more following the tamping pass.

In the afternoon we decided we just hadn’t had enough of the ballasting fun so we dragged the rake up to Maldon and had it loaded up again, from the small stockpile we have there. This rock is destined for Curve 21 and we’ll be dropping it out on Friday Morning, so we need to get as many sleepers replaced between now and then!

We made use of the move to transport another 130ish full profile concrete sleepers up to curve 21 so we can get on and complete that job, hopefully this week.

A very productive Monday and hopefully we can follow that up with a productive Tuesday. We’re hoping to get another 100 or so concrete sleepers installed into Curve 21. Meeting Maldon 8am or at Curve 21 from 8.15am.

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