Today was a massive day of shoving in sleeper plates.
About 1.5kms worth of plates were inserted under the track, starting at tangent 11-12 and finishing up at curve 10, so far only in one leg. The big digger would lift, while the plates were slid under, the little digger followed along behind doing a tamping pass to firm everything up and prepare for driling.
It wasn’t without its slight challenges, with a broken off grab jaw slowing down proceedings for a few moments early in the day, but all spares were on hand to get us back in action.
The act of tamping behind the plate insertion not only helps prepare for drilling, by lifting any dropped sleepers, it also ensures the concrete sleepers are properly supported with ballast.
It doesn’t look greatly different following this step, however it has actually removed a few dips in the track.
Given that there was 10 of us on hand today, a small gang set about drilling holes and starting dog spikes, with quite a few hundred metres now ready to have spikes driven.
Tomorrow’s crew will be starting around the gas pipeline from 8.15am, dropping out dog spikes as required ready for Tuesday’s gang. And hopefully dropping out more plates, as we’ve inserted everything that was dropped out.