New Turnout

Well after much head scratching, we went back to first principles with the turntable and discovered both the lock blocks were off centre, partially due to wear and movement and partly due to being installed slightly that way initially. So once that was rectified, believe it or not we got everything to line up nicely!

So with that done we ploughed ahead with the turnout construction, of which we’ve now basically got one leg fastened down.

While we were busy with that, Rolf surveyed the track into the shed and pegged it all out ready for track building next week.

It’s all starting to come together now, with the hard work, all the setup, now complete. Thursday should see most of the construction work completed, at least along the straight legs.

Meeting at Castlemaine on Thursday from 8.15am

Turnout works

A slightly delayed update from Friday’s works.

Further works dropping out turnout materials and aligning everything to the turntable used up the day comfortably.

Lots of final tweaking of abutment timbers, timber spacings and alignment was undertaken, before placing the rails.

Thankfully the turnout we’re using was a complete turnout we disassembled from Dynon some years ago, so it was just a case of rebuild the jigsaw to get the bits in the right places.

Very roughly dropped out turnout bits, doesn’t quite look right yet, but it’s certainly giving the idea of what’s about to happen.

By day’s end it was all starting to take shape. We’ve still got a bit to go in getting the table aligned perfectly, unfortunately the table isn’t quite as dead straight as it was when built many years ago, so lots of trial and error comes into play ensuring everything is lined up perfectly when the table’s turned either way. But we’ll get there.

Next week will be more work here, hopefully seeing the straight legs of the turnout fastened down. Tuesday, meeting at Castlemaine from 8.30am.

Castlemaine Turntable

Another hot one today, but quite a productive day none the less.

The fitting of the abutment timber was today’s focus and it certainly kept us busy.

Lots of cutting, planning and drilling. For what is essentially a simple task, installing a bit of timber on a few bolts, it is still quite a complex process.

Cutting the curve to match the abutment shape was done quite easily freehand using the little cordless chainsaw, it proved excellent for this work.

Lots of test fits and turntable revolutions ensured any tight spots were eased.

Of course one of the tie down bolts will end up being exactly under a rail, so we’ve recessed it to ensure there isn’t any fouling, it proved to be easier to weld a new length of thread on the end of the old bolt.

The lock block was fitted in and a nice layer of mortar was put down to ensure the timber is well supported.

The bolts were tightened up until the sloppy grout mix oozed out, ensuring good even support.

To ensure adequate room for sleeper plates and to give added support, a second timber was fastened to the back of the first, rather simple but certainly very effective.

Job done and ready for track. Obviously the other end needs the same treatment before this goes into regular use.

And when the table is locked into the new position, it points exactly towards the laid out timbers, as planned!

Tomorrow, we’ve got a train booked in to drop off the relevant materials to allow. construction of the turnout to continue While we’re waiting for that we’ll do a full check over the turntable, tightening all the bolts through the timber work and preparing what we can for the next steps.

Meeting Castlemaine Yard from 8.30am.

Back into it

Well the program for 2022 has kicked off, with the first horse out of the stable being this turnout just off the turntable at Castlemaine. We’ve still got to bring down all the turnout rail etc… but we now know where things should go.

The slowest and most fiddly part is going to be fitting the abutment timbers, which will easily take most if not all of Thursday to complete. Thursday we’ll be meeting at Castlemaine from 8.30am.