Today saw the Dock Road turnout removed. Unfortunately, it also saw a lot of wet and miserable weather.
The last few bolts were unfastened, before the big digger was called in to lift the turnout out in lumps.
This allowed all the spikes and screws to be dealt with out of the way of the earthworks.
The top layer of fouled ballast was excavated until we hit clean gravel road-base, which was actually not far below the bottom of sleeper level.
The real cause of the track failure in the turnout was the lack of drainage, so to prevent a recurrence, we’ve installed a drain the full length of the works and extending into the sump pump collection area so the water can be more effectively removed from the track.
We even took the opportunity to cover the ground with geofabric, in the hope it might at least slow the clay from working back up through.
A keen eye will note a ballast train stabled in the platform, this was brought up last night by the light engine move. We’ll need that tomorrow to ballast the new track, but we also needed it today to access a bit of rock to cover the drainage pipe.
In no time at all, we’d laid out the sleepers, all 2nd hand timber of reasonable quality. The new rails were cut into the existing track. The new rail is 60lb AS, an improved version of the 60lb D we have been replacing elsewhere, however we only have a very small amount of it, so we’re saving it for historically significant places such as 1 road at Maldon.
These rails are in twice the length of the old rail and with much better fishplates, which is what’s being tended to here.
We chose to cut the old remaining 60lb D rather than shortening the longer rails, this resulted in cuts being needed both ends of the job to ensure we maintained appropriate rail lengths in the old 60lb D.
And by close of play, we’d joined up all the rails and completely drilled and screwed down one leg of the new track.
We’ve got a bit of lining to do first thing tomorrow, before gauging and fastening up the other leg. Then we’ll run out a few wagons of ballast, before jacking and tamping, hopefully all done well before knock off time!
We are looking a bit light on for numbers tomorrow, so any extra hands would be appreciated. Meeting at Maldon from 8an