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.