Sleeper Plates

A rather unexciting day today dropping out sleeper plates, in readiness for Thursday’s gang to insert them.

However we had quite the deluge last night and below a few pictures showing the water flowing under a couple of our bridges, Muckleford Creek and Winters Flat.

It’s good to know the trackside drains all seem to be doing their jobs well, as no issues were encountered. Given how incredibly wet everything is now, we expect these creeks will flow for quite a few weeks.

Thursday’s gang will be meeting at Maldon at 7.45am or out near Curve 11 (gas pipeline area) from 8.15am.

A momentous day

Today marks the final rerailing works planned for 2022!

Yesterday gang installed the 94lb rail on the Down leg over Sawmill Road Bridge, while today’s gang completed the Up leg.

You’ll notice we’ve used long enough rails to span the bridge without joints, we set aside some 55m rails early on in the process for this purpose. At the UP end, or behind the camera, where the 55m rails end we’ve dropped back to 60lb before the level crossing, as we’ll need to rebuild the crossing as part of that work.

It’s now an incredibly different trip between Sawmill Road and Muckleford, well worth doing a trip on the train to notice what a difference it makes.

Although Sawmill Road crossing will be rerailed in 94lb, when it’s rebuilt, as soon as we’re on the up side of the crossing we’ll be dropping back to 80lb for the remainder through to Brown Street Ped. Crossing. So today really marked the end of the 94lb rerailing!

So… for some no doubt thrilling figures…

This week saw 427m of rail installed, taking us to 2552m of rail installed for August.

July was a slightly more impressive month, with 2949m of rail installed with the only other month being March which saw 550m of rail installed.

A total of 6,051m of 94lb rail has been installed into the track (or alternatively 3,025.5m of track was rerailed), which is an enormous achievement in such as short space of time! Everyone who’s been involved should be extremely proud.

Although we’ve now completed the rerailing, the job is far from over… we still need to return to Farmers Bridge and work through to Sawmill Rd inserting sleeper plates and spiking them up. We also need to replace all the failed timber sleepers with concrete and tidy all the jewellery and mess we’ve made along the way! Sounds easy if you say it fast, we expect this to take as long as the rerailing did, however we might find we get into a good rhythm and it goes quickly.

As the weather will be warming up around this time, it’ll be less than ideal to be doing rerailing works, so we’ll divert to other works until around Easter 2023 when we’ll finish the rerailing and remove the last of the 60lb in our mainline, we may do a little more this year around Winters Flat Bridge, depending on the weather.

Next Tuesday will be a change of pace, we’ll be meeting at Maldon 8am undertaking a range of odd jobs ahead of Thursday and Friday when we’ll be back out on the job installing sleeper plates.


The last major length of 94lb rerailing was tackled today, the final 317m to get to Sawmill Rd Bridge.

The now common sight of 4 rails instead of the usual 2 is starting to become a memory, on this section of the railway at least.

The well rehearsed practice of rerailing has all been for this moment! Well, not quite but it does have that sort of feeling.

Getting a correct length rail to square up the closures did require a quick trip to Muckleford to select a 15m from the stockpile, we also selected a slightly shorter junction rail to match the other leg.

Before long that was all cut to length, bolted together and clipped up.

This Thursday and Friday we will actually be tackling the rerailing across the bridge, so we’re not quite finished our efforts yet, however that’ll be a lot more time consuming and will likely take the two days, once we cut in the closures just before the level crossing.

While out in the area, a couple of loose fishplates in Sawmill Rd were dug out and tightened, this crossing will be rebuilt in early 2023, so it doesn’t have to survive too much longer.

However some of the gang today had a bit of excitement, with a burning car discovered dumped near Donkey Farm Track, the matter was handed over to the CFA and Police, thankfully no damage to anything on the Railway.

Thursday’s gang will meet at Maldon at 7.45am or out near Sawmill Rd crossing at 8.15am, we’ve got a fair amount of preparation work to do on rerailing over the bridge, so it’ll be a bit of a mixed day.

The end is in sight…

Another extremely successful day today, with the UP leg now rerailed right up to Sawmill Rd Bridge.

What began as just a few lengths, quickly snowballed into 216m of rail, and by sheer fluke, the rail happened to end in exactly the right place just before the bridge, it’s nice to have a win sometimes.

Before we rerail across the bridge we’ll get the other leg down to the same point, which is where the gang is standing.

It’s really feeling like we’re getting somewhere now, with mere meters to go now and we’ll have all the 94lb rail in. Everything the other side is 80lb and they’ll likely be next year’s job given how much we still need to go back to do before summer.

Tuesday’s gang will be meeting at Maldon at 8am or out on site from 8.30am.