Turnout Building

We’ve made a very good start on the turnout building today.

All but one hole was drilled in the rails (a slight technical issue with the rail drill, where it’s doing absolutely everything correctly, except for starting…)

Once we’d got it all organised, with rails bolted up and flat sleeper plates under, the usual tricks for getting a straight line were used, and we’re very happy with how it turned out.

It was a very victorian day, with both extremes. We had scorching sun and two very impressive storms! Thankfully, they both occurred during break times. The heaviest was during lunch, however by 4pm, there was only a couple of small puddles remaining to indicate there had been any rain.

A keen eye will note that not every timber was lucky enough to get a sleeper plate, this was due to a limited supply of these plates on hand and the relatively limited use this turnout will see, on the curved legs anyhow. If by chance we get flooded with them in the future, we’ll fit them as we replace timber, however for now, we’ve worked on having 1 in 3 plated, which will be a massive improvement on what’s been here for the last 140 years.

Once we’d fastened up the 1 in 3 timbers along our straight edge, we gauged and started the fastenings along the other straight leg. Tomorrow will see all of these driven home.

And that was today’s finished product! We’re very proud of our effort, with a few little holds up from the weather and the rail drill, we’re very happy with what we achieved.

Tomorrow’s crew will hopefully get all the currently standing spikes driven, the last of the screws installed and the curved lead pulled to line and fastened down. Leaving nothing but a big drilling and spiking day on Tuesday to finish it off.

Tomorrow’s crew meeting at Maldon from 8am.

Bridge and Turnout

With the takeuchi back in action, we had a bit of tamping work still to go at Muckleford Creek Bridge. However we did need to top up the ballast a bit, so today was the first proper use of the hirail tipper.

It’s got a couple of tail gates, this one has has ballast shoots (we took one side deflector off to prevent it going over the bridge edge, we left the other side on, however that didn’t work so well).

It worked an absolute treat, with the three different shoots being controlled by air independently, making it very flexible.

Once we’ve got a ready supply of ballast again, we expect this to get a lot of use.

Once all of that excitement had passed, we headed up to Maldon, where a works train had dropped off a wagon full of turnout bits for us.

We then proceeded to do an approximate drop out of rails ready for Thursday’s crew to get into construction mode.

It’s amazing how quickly they go from looking like a pile of bits into a turnout.

Thursday’s gang will be meeting at Maldon from 8am.

Turnout preparation

It wasn’t an overly exciting day today, however we did manage to amass the majority of the hardware needed to do the turnout job.

One item we needed a few more of were a certain type of bar plate, which we had, but had in use in the track at Muckleford. So one of today’s tasks was swapping those over for short angle plates, releasing the bar plates for where they’re needed in Maldon.

Among our many little bits of pieces collected from across the railway we picked up the now repaired piece for the hitch on the Takeuchi. So, on our way back to Maldon this arvo, that was fitted up, and now it’s back in action!

As such Tuesday’s workday will be back at Muckleford Bridge, where a small bit of tamping is still required. Meeting Maldon 8am or out on site from 8.30am.

Turnout Preparations

We’ve begun the preliminary works for the renewal of the 2/3 road turnout at Maldon. The old one is well and truly life expired. With thanks to a grant from VicTrack, we’ve been able to purchase two full sets of turnout timbers.

We did begin today with a big pack up of all the bridge repair gear, tidying up both trucks and storing our tools away safely in their respective homes.

The main task of the day way sorting the two sets of points timbers, from a random mix of packaged timber, to two distinct sets. This takes far longer than you’d expect, taking the bulk of today to achieve.

Unfortunately we were troubled by a slight hydraulic leak, however it was quickly remedied with a replacement hose.

The timbers not required for this turnout were bound up, this helps prevent warping and twisting of the timber, and allows for much more logical stacking and storage.

The precise location of the replacement turnout was determined, and a ground plan was drawn up for its nearby construction, this will allow us to work on this as time permits over the next few weeks and once complete we’ll slew it into the track. We’ll cover all the details of the new turnout as the project progresses.

It looks quite impressive with the timbers all dropped out in their rough locations.

The plan for tomorrow is to continue getting materials up to the turnout location here in Maldon preparing for construction to begin next week. Meeting at Maldon from 8.00am