Ballast Trains

Today was all about ballast trains and there was a lot of them!

We began by dropping 3 wagons out on Curve 16.

This was followed by lots of loading before heading out to Sawmill Rd, where we made a light discharge, as required all the way from there to Curve 11, another 5 wagons worth.

Curve 11 itself saw another 5 wagons discharged, it was quite light on for ballast, as there’s probably a bit more settlement in that location due to an old bridge.

While back at Muckleford, we had the flail mower running around tidying up the yard, we also used the opportunity of a loco on site to pull everything out of 3 road to give it a good mow either side.

This is one of the only ballast trains we’ve run were we actually included some gang transport, generally we just all pile in the loco but that gets a bit squeezy. The ZD van set the train off nicely and towing it behind Daylesford’s plough did actually improve the ploughs performance some what, it seemed to have the effect of adding weight and prevented the plough lifting like it sometimes can.

It’s all looking very tidy after a good trim.

The final drop of the day, another 5 wagons, was out around Curve 18 through to the down end of Curve 20.

We’ve focused on areas, such as this, that had little to no real ballast, especially areas that need some rock available to tamp up and fix a few dips.

By day’s end, our enormous pile has been reduced to this, just enough to do Walmer Road Crossing and top up Walmer Road Bridge as needed. We’ve still got 2 wagons to discharge on Friday as well as trying to get some caught ballast out of all the wagons, hopefully with some mechanical aid we’ll get them clean.

Check back tomorrow for details of Thursday’s gang, we did much better today than expected, so the plans have changed a little.

3 thoughts on “Ballast Trains

  1. I follow all your work upgrading the track and admire your planning and fortitude

    Recently when photographing trains at Mont Albert Station I noticed that it appears that section of the Up local and the bi directional line all have the same concrete sleepers that you use. Is it possible that you can put in a claim to the project team for them to be “repurposed” to Castlemaine as they will all be ripped up by February when the line is closed to dig the huge cutting that is planned

    Regards
    Robert Carlisle
    Camberwell

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    1. Hi Robert, Thankyou for your admiration, we do appreciate it.
      We have certainly put in a joint claim (with the other T&H railways in Victoria) for all the reusable sleepers from that location and we’re hopeful we may get a good number, however time will tell – currently all our concrete sleepers are second hand from the level crossing removal projects around Melbourne.
      Cheers,
      Will

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      1. HI Will
        Many Thanks for your reply
        I obtain great pleasure in all your work on the track it must be a matter of real satisfaction to you and the track team to be making steady progress in your upgrade of the track infrastructure
        I enclose the relevant photo which set off this exchange and you can see there the low profile concrete sleepers that I hope have your name on them – two months to go before the grand canyon is created in this spot!!
        All the best
        Robert

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