Castlemaine Yard

Today’s small gang of 3 had a very successful day.

Lots of marking out first up, using the offset pegs to provide the track location and sleeper spacings made it very easy.

In no time at all it was sleepers dropped out and rails sitting upon them. The rails used here are those recovered from the recent Maclise St. Rebuild.

The rails recovered from Bendigo Rd crossing were the next lot installed on the end of these and the workshop track itself was laid with the rails from Rowe St Crossing. Unfortunately we haven’t got any more 94lb crossings left to rebuild so we’ll have to delve into our stores of 94lb for the bit between the shed and here. We’ve got a few lesser quality lengths, still perfect siding rail but not mainline quality, that we’ll use up in here.

We bolted up as we went, which was quite easy with these nice long bits of rail.

By lunch time we’d laid out 70 odd sleepers and about 60m of rail in each leg.

The beauty with a nice flat roadbed and concrete sleepers is the gauge is held well enough to allow the digger across, which is ideal to help distribute all the jewellery and tweak the sleepers before clipping up. The clearance is relatively tight around here, the bollard will be moved to improve that, but it’s actually no tighter than between any of the tracks and the shed doors. However for curve off the turnout does look good!

By the end of the day we’d clipped up one leg to just this side of the digger, with most of the jewellery dropped out ready for tomorrow’s crew to finish it off.

We’ll be meeting here at 8.30am tomorrow, hopefully completing all the clipping up and finalising the turnout work, ready for ballasting and tamping on Monday.

Castlemaine Yard

It was all action at Castlemaine today! We’ve had the earthmovers in to prepare the roadbed towards the workshop.

It certainly shows the path the track will take, which is only two quite reasonable curves with a short straight between.

Lots of other small jobs like leveling pathways, installing temporary crossings to allow access while the road is blocked etc etc… were also achieved today.

All going well, tomorrow will see a material train bring in sleepers and rail, ready for work to start on Thursday!

Maclise St. Done!

A long day, but it’s done and boy has it come up a treat.

A nice mild morning set a good pace.

Job one was cutting the rails to the correct length, now a keen eye will note that these cuts seem to give a big gap, which they did, however this was the mark we placed when the rail was at its warmest temperature yesterday, which must have been right as it grew back to that size this afternoon.

Before long everything was roughly bolted up and clipping well underway.

Plenty of ballast.

Only a very minor lift was needed to get to final height, we’re certainly getting much better at this, as this seemed very easy and nowhere near the amount of work as the previous crossings.

Some tidying up and installing the final bolts in the up side IRJs once they’d grow to the right length.

The gap closed up around 30mm by the afternoon.

Just after lunch the asphalt went down and how great it very quickly looked.

A few last bolt tightens to ensure the IRJs were appropriately tight.

Thankfully there was a bit of extra asphalt, so the approaches to the pedestrian crossing were sealed also.

The whole job has come up an absolute treat, with many locals already commenting how happy they are about it. We even reinstated the lights with all new track leads and everything worked first go! The before shot below shows just how different it now looks.

A marvellous job. A big credit to all the gang for putting in the extra effort, it really is appreciated and you should all be extremely proud of your efforts.

We’d also like to thank Mount Alexander Shire Council for their contribution to cover the Asphalt and Traffic Management. We can just about manage the cost of the track part, but without their support, these jobs just couldn’t happen.

Another big job off the list! Check back Monday for details of workdays next week.

Maclise St Rebuild

One last look at the old crossing.

By 7.30 this morning we were into the destruction phase, removing the last of the sleepers, digging out the road and unbolting the joints.

It was a hive of activity, with everything running like clockwork.

Once we’d removed all the old material, it was onto a bit of future proofing. We’ve installed a 100mm conduit for potential future use, while a relatively easy task, the ground was very rocky so it did slow down the progress a little.

By early afternoon it was roadbase, geofab and drains in, layer of rock spread and sleepers laid out with rails being towed into place. Thankfully we’ve got all the gear for this these days, as it’d be a hell of a job without it!

It wasn’t too long before we were into clip up mode, after the insulated joints at the down end were bolted up.

We spent quite a bit of time lining the curve and the approach, which now resembles something much nicer than we had before.

At close of play, we’d clipped up both legs to the UP side of the roadway. Tomorrow morning we’ll cut in the far end joints and complete the bolting up. Then onto ballasting, lifting and tamping.

We’re pretty much on schedule, however there is still a bit to go tomorrow, so any extra hands would be greatly appreciated. Meeting Maclise St from 7.30am.