It’s November, therefore, a detailed track walk was required. Today was the day.
It was probably the most successful track walk we’ve ever had, with the whole length from Maldon to Castlemaine completed today, which has never happened. The main reason was that we weren’t held up attending to lots of faults.
With the exception of 3 locations, our track gauge is excellent and all of those 3 have only just triggered the ‘action will be required soon threshold’.
A few very minor things, like the odd loose bolt and a clip missing (knocked off by a digger during ballast works), but all very minor and easily fixed.
The wet ground has resulted in a bit of settlement, with one old bridge pile opening up near Pipeline Crossing, the old bridge beam and pile bolts can be seen down the hole. Easily fixed by just filling with some gravel, just as the bridge was originally filled some 100 years ago.
The down end abutment embankment at Muckleford Bridge has also fallen victim to settlement, we will be fixing this prior to the weekend’s trains, as this isn’t going to get better if we leave it. The wet of this season is quite possibly the first time this embankment has ever actually become this wet and hence has settled, since reconstruction in the 80s/90s.
Tomorrow’s crew will meet at Muckleford around 8.15am, where we’ll head out and attend to the bridge and depending on numbers we may also fix a few of the other faults.