Unfortunately no pictures from today, however we did achieve quite a bit, with the new beam for Sawmill Rd bridge delivered to site, the temporary steel support beam has been slewed into position and the necessary bolts loosened and freed up ready for a quick change over on Thursday.
We then set about tightening up the bolts we hadn’t quite got around to yet on Walmer Rd Bridge, which was a nice easy job given the low height of the bridge.
The afternoon was spent having a massive tidy up in the compound area at Maldon, with all the junk taken to the appropriate scrap or rubbish piles, any non civil items placed in more suitable locations and overgrowth trimmed back, giving us far more usable space.
Thursday’s gang will meet at Maldon at 8am then at Sawmill Rd Bridge from 8.30am. Friday is unlikely to be a workday due to an external factor keeping a few of the regulars away, so if you were thinking of coming on Friday, you’d be most welcome on Thursday instead.
We took the opportunity of having a full ballast wagon on hand to tend to a couple of drops today. The first drop was near the site of an old trestle bridge, filled in many decades ago, but as they always do, any remaining timber buried below is now decaying and causing the ground the settle a little.
The second drop was on the site of Yesterday’s work.
After a good lift, tamp and tidyup, it came up looking very smart.
The other site also received the same attention, with a good 2 to 3 inch lift being required, but it certainly looks very smart and rides fantastically now.
We also made use of a works train to drop out sleepers at Pipeline crossing ready for an upcoming rebuild there.
Next week however, we’ll switch our focus to bridges. We had been waiting on a delivery of timber for Sawmill Road, however that’s now on hand. Tuesday we’ll meet at Maldon at 8am, to begin conveying equipment and materials to site ready for Thursday.
Amongst other things, today saw us remove a mud hole near Bendigo Road Crossing. It’d been forming there for years, but this wet winter was certainly making it get worse.
So we removed all the sleepers for a good distance either side of the mud spot and dug everything out.
And of course if you’re going to that much effort, why not replace the sleepers while you’re there.
We kept to a manageable working face and dug down until we found a solid base, interestingly the mud and clay was very much confined to the areas that were visible from above, it wasn’t overly saturated or badly contaminated.
A total length of 23 sleepers were dug out and installed.
Tomorrow’s job will be dropping some ballast, jacking and tamping. We have done exactly this type of treatment previously and found it to be very successful, given our light train weights and relatively few trains, it’s unlikely once a good few inches of ballast are under the sleepers that we’d break through the clay layer below.