Bridge Piles

Today was a day spent preparing bridge piles.

We’ve had a few piles that have been lying around, still in the form they came out of a bridge somewhere in victoria a few years ago.

So we set about removing all the old bolts and dismantling the bracing. You wouldn’t think it, but this little job took our small gang of three most of the day.

However, in the afternoon, given the weather, we ran a special track patrol to ensure there was no damage, which there wasn’t. However the weather turned it on again for us, with a very impressive deluge lasting the whole patrol.

Next week’s plan is bridge work at Muckleford Creek, nothing formally planned for Monday, however at the very least well be on site from 8.30am Tuesday preparing for the upcoming works.

Loco Shed Castlemaine

We’ll we’ve had quite a successful week, with an excellent start on the track now having been made in the loco shed.

Tuesday saw a significant amount of work done, with lots of rail cutting and drilling to square odd lengths of rail. The track hae been constructed from the rear of the shed outwards.

Last night’s storm saw us working in a lake today. We did manage to get this largely drained with a little digger and shovel work.

Well before morning tea, we’d completed clipping up what we hadn’t got to Tuesday.

It’s not dead straight yet, but that’s pretty good from a string line, translated into a paint mark on the ground then roughly placed out by the digger.

To go any further we needed to unload the material from the works train, which required a bit of shunting.

Once that was done thought, we continued on out the door.

The last rails for today’s efforts being lifted in, we’ve used 80lb rail here, as we still have a good stock of that in moderate lengths.

We even cheated a little and used the gauger to help clip up the curved section, as it takes a big heave with a bar to curve the rail or an easy pump with the device.

It certainly all seems to be point in the right spots, which is always a bonus.

As we’re now taking a break from Castlemaine to go Bridge repairing, we’ve left a section out just inside the shed doors to help with access, as stepping over the unballasted track is not fun for anyone.

Depending on how our Bridge repair program goes, we might not be back here until Mid march, or depending on when our timbers do finally arrive we might be back here in a few weeks. Either way hopefully by Easter, all three roads in the shed will be usable.

Tomorrow, we’ll be preparing for bridgework, so meeting Maldon from 8am, where we’ll transport to Muckleford the materials we do have on hand to get started next week.


Amazing what a few extra hands can achieve, today saw us more or less complete the turnout.

All the fiddly little bits and pieces were fastened down and tidied up.

By day’s end it was looking a treat, with all 4 legs including the crossing and checkrails fastened down.

It’s hard horrible work in the heat, but at least working here we’ve got a few sheds to escape to when it gets too much.

We’ll be back here on Tuesday from 8.30am, when we’ll begin track laying in the east side of the loco shed.


A rather hot and horrible day today, but still an impressive amount of progress, given our small gang of 3.

We’ve fastened down both straight legs, the crossing still needs fastening down but it’s in the right position at least.

We even managed to muster enough energy to align the curve, fastening it about every 3rd timber to the offsets provided on the diagram. Unfortunately last time we built a turnout like this (VYS or curved blade turnout) we didn’t have a true diagram so we had to estimate, however a kind reader managed to dig up few different plans for us and it has made the job much easier.

With a bit of luck if tomorrow’s gang is a bit larger than today’s, we should just about see all the fastening down done, and we might even get onto the track beyond.

Meeting from 8.15am at Castlemaine tomorrow.