Fixing up small faults

Following the track inspection last week, we found quite a few small faults, mainly of the tight gauge variety, that needed rectification.

Why track gauge tightens rather than widens, as the sleepers begin to deteriorate is open to many theories, however this is typically our experience, especially on the straight track.

It’s easily remedied by cross boring (unspiking one rail, drilling new holes to correct gauge and then respiking), however it is only a short term fix as it’s an overall sign the sleepers are nearing the end of their life.

Today’s sizable gang certainly got stuck in and made excellent progress in knocking over a few of the faults, unfortunately there is still many more and that will be the focus of our upcoming workdays, Thursday and Friday we’ll be meeting at Maldon from 8am.

Track inspection part 2

What started a little gloomy turned into a nice day. For the remainder of the inspection we started at Castlemaine and headed through to Muckleford.

A few loose bolts but only a handful were found on the whole inspection.

Only a few minor gauge faults were found, which is always nice.

The main faults were at the concrete sleepers on the 60lb, none were critical, but we’ve installed outer biscuits at each fault as a safeguard.

The only other issue was some wide gauge in Castlemaine Yard which, given we won’t get to resleepeeing in the immediate future, we’ve crossbored it back to gauge to tide us over.

Tomorrow we’ll be in Ballarat doing a little work on Steamrail’s Turntable there, it’s only a very small job and doesn’t require many hands, but you’re welcome to join, meeting at the old Ballarat East Station area around 10am.

Track Inspection

Today saw us begin the walking track inspection. Maldon to Muckleford was completed, with a number of faults found, no show stoppers, but things that we’ll need to get to over the coming month.

All going well, we’ll conclude the Walk from Castlemaine to Muckleford on Thursday, however it’s looking like the weather has other plans, so check back tomorrow night for details.

Turnout Complete

A busy day for today’s gang of 3, with the final 7 timbers spiked up, everything tamped, including removing a big dip in the turnout and everything boxed and tidied up.

A reasonable amount of gauging was required down by the crossing and as a result everything now runs through much more smoothly. Although nothing was out of tolerance before, it didn’t all sit in a nice straight line, however it does now.

Some of the timbers came out in reasonable condition, but a good number came out like this!

After a really thorough tidy up and lots of shovelling to fill the tamping voids, it has come up looking a treat.

And just I’m time too, as not half an hour after we finished, a Steam Loco from Maldon arrived, ready to haul a wedding special.

Check back on Monday for details of Tuesday’s workday.