Maldon Yard

Today the Down end 3 Road turnout at Maldon received some attention.

We had one timber to replace from some months back when we put the air and water lines in, however while there, we decided to do a proper job and replace a few more. 6 were replaced in total, a combination of new and 2nd hand.

We also replaced a broken rail, unfortunately in these old turnouts, the rails are so worn that breaks occur very easily, thankfully we have none like this in the mainline any longer, there just relegated to the depths of Maldon Yard.

We also managed to fit in some drainage works, which will hopefully stop the water pooling in the area like it has been.

The exact details of Thursday’s workday are yet to be determined, however it’ll likely be a day down at Muckleford preparing for the Wamer Road Crossing Rebuild.

Ticking things off the list

The majority of the list of to dos following yesterday’s track walk are now complete. The first being the abutment at Muckleford Creek, where 2 buckets of rock were applied and compacted in, while another couple of buckets of dirt were used to shore up the sheeting to ensure it doesn’t settle too much further.

While down by the creek, we removed and filled a bit of rock and scour to ensure an unweary vehicle driver coming to grief while crossing the stream.

The big old bridge pile hole took about 1/2 a bucket of gravel to fill, with lots of ramming from the digger to fill any big voids, it seems to have solidify nicely.

4 sleepers were replaced between Pipeline Crossing and Bendigo Rd, with that removing the gauge faults.

We’ve only got two major faults remaining, both of which are easy fixes and we’ll get onto them next week, one at Muckleford and one in Castlemaine Yard. Almost all the minor faults were also corrected today (mainly bolt tightening), leaving a nicely short list to urgent things to do.

We even found time to get a heap of tamping done too, until the tamper went out in protest! Easy fix, but certainly a Monday job.

Check back Monday for details of Tuesday.

Track Inspection

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.