‘A’ Road – On The Level

Thursday and Friday this week (21-22 April) saw more progress in finishing off the tracks into the Loco Shed at Castlemaine.

Our main tasks were to add ballast to the track we finished laying last week, jack it up to surveyed level, pack the ballast under the turnout timbers and concrete sleepers and fit the turnout with a point lever.

The ballast went out on Thursday and we spent much of Thursday afternoon moving it to where it could be packed under the timbers – at the all important place – under the rails.

The ballast is on top of the track, ready to be packed underneath it. (Photo Bob)
The excavator heads onto the turntable from on top of the turnout. (Photo Bob)
Jacking the track up to the proper height before packing ballast under the sleepers. (L-R) – Norm and Art are ready with a big spanner to operate the jack which Bob is placing under the track, John S calls the levels while John McC (hidden) winds a jack up. This is A Road – B Road is behind Bob and it will get the same treatment next week. (Photo by Neville.)
The Takeuchi excavator, driven by John McC, packs the ballast under the point timbers. using our vibrating tamping ‘head’ to give a good firm result. (Photo by Bob)
John S helps guide John McC in packing the ballast. Squeeze too hard and the track ends up with a ‘hump’ in it, but not enough and a dip is the result. Note the holes left when the tamping’s been done. That indicates that lots of rock has gone from on top to under the timber. (Photo by Bob)
Tamping the tricky bits around the turnout. (Photo by Bob)

By the end of Friday, we had ballasted and tamped the turnout and A Road well into the shed.

Friday’s other job was to install a point lever, crank and rods to operate the turnout. This can be a tricky job to make sure that the point ‘blades’ sit firmly against the ‘stock’ rails to guide a train in the right direction.

The lever, crank, spreader bars and rod are all in place and fine adjustment is under way. Trevor (L) is guiding Norm to get the lever in exactly the right place to allow a connection to fit together. Rolf (R) is cleaning the point chairs to make sure no obstructions will stop the point blades from closing properly. (Photo by Neville)
– and it works perfectly! Norm operates the lever while Trevor makes sure that everything is working properly while Rolf works in the background. (photo by Neville)

Thursday 28th and Friday 29th April
Next week we will continue at Castlemaine, jacking and packing ‘B’ Road and more track building (from the turntable back towards the ash pit.

Castlemaine at 8.00am on both days. If you’d like to join us, please call or text John on 0427 352 416.

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