Drilling and Standing Spikes

Today was a whole day dedicated to drilling holes and standing dog spikes. We’ve now drilled a hole in one side of everytimber sleeper between Muckleford and Sawmill Rd, with just the whole other side to go now!

Tuesday’s gang, which will meet at Maldon 8am or out near Curve 10 from 8.30am, will drive the spikes stood today and begin dropping out plates for the other leg.

Sleeper Plates

A successful day of inserting sleeper plates, with one leg now all under and tamped.

We even found plenty of time to start drilling and standing spikes, with several hundred metres of that completed.

And we had enough people on hand to drive a couple of hundred metres of spikes also.

Today saw one of our new toys tested. A trolley for the Excavators. We’re still working through developing the operating procedure and although we think we’ve covered all bases, a field test is always required to make sure everything behaves as expected, it certainly seems to and has already improved productivity greatly! No doubt this and it’s slightly bigger cousin will feature regularly on here!

Tomorrow’s crew will continue with the drilling and spiking, starting from Curve 9 (the curve on the Down side of Sawmill Rd Crossing) from 8.30am.

Maldon Yard

We had a change of pace day today, renewing the derail blocks in Maldon Yard and lifting a Turnout which had settled a little in this big wet.

All three scotch blocks (2, 3 & 4 rds) were renewed with all steel derails, mainly to help reduce ongoing maintenance required, instead of being specially crafted blocks that are individually fitted in each case, these are an off the shelf item that requires nothing any more complex than screwing or spiking to the sleepers.

As part of the job, the supporting sleepers in 2 and 3 roads were renewed also.

The turnout at the UP end of Maldon Yard had settled a little at the toe, likely due to the ground getting wet for the first time in many decades. Unfortunately to tamp it up properly requires the removal of a good number of rods and bars, so it’s quite a time consuming task, however one that’s now completed.

While there, we set about ensuring all bolts were tight and every moving part was moving with ease and adequately lubricated, we were pleasantly surprised at how easily the pins came out of the rods, indicating the lubrication which is applied regularly is effective in both lubricating and preventing corrosion.

Check back tomorrow for details of Thursday’s works, as we’re slightly dependant of a number of pieces of equipment being available and working that currently need a little TLC, hopefully achievable tomorrow.