Everyone was on hand nice and early this morning, obviously eager to see this project completed.
With the ballast train on hand, it was only the clipping up standing in our way.
But that task was completed in good time. Unfortunately these old VR concrete sleepers are a pain to clip up, as the pandrol lug is a different shape, making it a much more awkward task than on newer sleepers. However it’s done now!
Although we had previously lined the bit of track through the roadway, it had pulled itself flat a bit, probably when the gravel was added. So a bit of digging and lining saw the curve tweaked into a very nice line.
It looked very snazzy and seemed a pity to ballast it.
Before we ran a heavy train over it, some ballast was extracted from a wagon to help support the section of track now hanging from the concrete slab, so as not to damage the slab.
A quick tamp of that and the first rail vehicle into the new shed was the little digger, we tucked that up into the far end of the shed while we dropped the rock.
Daylesford’s plough did once again got the honours of being the first rail wagon into the new shed – we’re very thankful we can continue to rack up firsts with good bit of gear. The wagons were pushed in just far enough to allow the ballast to be dropped right up to the concrete.
Unfortunately this ballast had been sitting in the wagons a while and set a bit, so the digger lightened the load by unloading a little more from the side, as extra ballast was going to be needed in this area anyhow.
With a few prods, pokes and strategic whacks the ballast began to flow and we were into it (obviously the plough couldn’t be lowered until we were outside the shed however).
A bit of rock manipulation in preparation for tamping.
We’ve found, especially with a decent drop like this, a pretamp of the sleepers prior to jacking makes the job much easier, it helps lifts small issues, uses up a bit of ballast to make inserting jacks easier and certainly seems to make for a much more solid final tamp.
A good amount of jacking was needed, although not excessivly so, to allow the final tamp to occur.
And it certainly came up looking a million dollars!
As one does, once one’s just completed a section of track, one immediately parks a train on top of it! This is either to hide it, show it off or as was the case here it was getting pretty close to knock off time and that was easiest.
Well after all that excitement, it might be realistic to think we’ve got no work tomorrow, however that’s far from the truth, as besides returning all this rolling stock to Muckleford and giving the Y a decent run (something this one hasn’t had for quite a while), we’ve got part two of the great retaining wall to construct, well cut the posts and stand them in the holes at least.
Meeting at Castlemaine depot tomorrow from 8.15am.